Frank Fenton & Winston Miller
Based on a novel by
JULY 22, 1947
EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - DAY
The sky is pure blue, exquisitely blemished by huge cumulus
clouds, floating lazily. A single bird sails past. From the
sky the CAMERA MOVES TO earth. Here, too, all is tranquil.
The trees, bright green in the sunlight, move only to the
slight but constant breeze. Now the CAMERA MOVES DOWN,
revealing a wagon to which is hitched a team of horses beside
the road. The wagon is at an awkward angle, but upright. It
is wedged between two rocks where the horses have pulled it
as they tried to reach some forage. Its seat is empty. In
the bed of the wagon several sacks lie, bearing the legend:
From: Argus Mine - Rock Pass
To: U.S. Assay Office
The sacks are empty and slashed as by a knife. The ropes
that bound them are cleanly severed. The disorder in the
wagon indicates haste. Two horses are hitched to it, munching
grass or the high leaves of a tree overhead. All that is odd
or unnatural is that the reins have fallen askew and trail
Now the CAMERA MOVES AWAY and ALONG tracks made by the wagon
when it left the road. ON THE ROAD two horses stand. These
are saddled, but riderless. The rifle holsters are empty.
CAMERA MOVES TO the ground. There on the road lies the rifle.
The dust is slightly blowing across it, moved by the
persistent summery little breeze. From the rifle, the CAMERA
MOVES ON A LITTLE and STOPS ABRUPTLY ON the sprawled dead
figure of a soldier, then another, face down in the road.
CLOSE SHOT of the dead soldiers, as the CAMERA HOLDS ON them.
Near the hand of one a revolver lies, the fine dust coating
it. Dust blowing over the uniforms, as though seeking to
hide the shame of a murder. As it blows over their still
figures, the SOUND of BIRDS coming over:
ROCK PASS - NIGHT
This is a western mining town of the Eighties that has
mushroomed up around a gold strike. On the streets prospectors
and miners mingle with merchants. As the CAMERA PICKS UP the
scene, a lumber wagon passes, bearing logs, a ten team wagon,
its trailer filled with ore from the stamp mills and bearing
the legend: ARGUS MINE. A stage coach comes in as we:
INT. HOTEL - NIGHT
On the hotel clerk, as he sits behind the desk, playing a
guitar and singing pensively the ballad of the story. As he
sings, JOHN HAVEN, newly arrived on the stagecoach, walks
in, gazes at the clerk with a slight smile, finding the clerk
completely indifferent to the arrival of anybody, at last
leaves the bag and saunters out.
EXT. SALOON - NIGHT
As Haven leaves the hotel and has reached the saloon, a well-
lighted, plush-looking spot, illumined by kerosene flares.
Sticking a pipe in his mouth, Haven saunters in.
INT. CHARLIE'S SALOON - EVENING
It is a huge elaborate room, lit by overhead chandeliers. A
long mahogany bar runs the length of it. To one side there
is a big stove and the gambling tables. Beyond can be seen
pool tables in an alcove. To another side, a man grinds away
at a piano. A stairway near the end of the bar leads to an
upper floor. The place is crowded and noisy with people.
Haven saunters towards the dice table, pauses, watches; he
is looking the crowd over carefully -- missing no detail of
the place or the people in it. When his turn comes, he picks
up the dice, bets all over the place -- on the line, on the
odds, on the seven, then on the come, the hard way, etc. His
point is eight.
Eight the hard way! Pay the line!
Haven bets again, doubling all over the table.
Seven a winner.
Players glance at the newcomer. Prince appears from nowhere,
standing behind the stickman, watching. Prince is slender,
black-haired, handsome and impassive. Haven throws again.
Stellman, an Army officer, watches curiously. There is a
little rising murmur as Haven tosses another natural. He
does it without enthusiasm or any lost movement. The bettors
get down on him. Prince touches the stickman's arm; the man
stands aside and Prince takes his place with the stick. Prince
tosses the dice back to Haven. Haven's eyes are fixed on
him. With a little smile, Haven throws the dice to the next
man, picks up his winnings.
His eyes meet Prince's again and then he turns away, Prince's
gaze following him curiously, Stellman looks at Prince.
He just seems kind of free with that
CAMERA FOLLOWS Haven, as still smiling slightly, he heads
towards the bar, searching the faces of the crowd as he goes.
Two miners are squared off for a fight and Haven, going his
way, walks between them, very indifferent, not even glancing
back at the SOUND of scuffle behind him.
AT THE BAR - Haven alone is not watching the fight. All the
others have turned to see it; even the barman is busy
watching. But Haven's eyes are resting on the figure of a
woman now at the piano, singing. Softly, as if to herself
and for her own enjoyment. He is near the end of the bar and
near the piano, and since no one else listens to her at this
moment, she sings, half smiling, directly for him, and then,
self-consciously, she stops and turns to sit at a table, as
Haven watches her. Behind them the fight is being stopped
and Charlie's eyes follow the huge bouncer, Mick Marion, as
he drags the offenders out to the door and the street. All
is as usual. The bartender is back at work. As Haven turns,
he finds that the place beside him is now occupied by the
young Lieutenant (Phil Stellman). Haven glances at the
uniform, then at the pleasant face of the officer, as the
barman comes up.
Whiskey -- like you'd pour it for
A girl sidles up to him, blonde, brash and pretty.
Don't you know it's no fun to drink
Not till after the first one.
He turns his back to her; she gives him a look and saunters
off. The barman produces the drinks -- a beer for Stellman,
the young officer. The barman folds his arms. Stellman looks
You a stranger here?
(to barman, after
gulping it in one
What kind of whiskey was that?
On the bottle it says Rye -- but the
way you take it, I don't see what
difference it makes.
Haven smiles at him.
The barman turns to get it. Stellman is still looking at
You didn't answer my question.
I'm a stranger everywhere.
Got a job?
The barman gives Haven another Rye.
Listen, soldier. I know that one,
too. Got a job, stranger? No? Why
don't you join the Army? Three meals
a day, a place to sleep, a nice warm
It has a little more than that.
Yeah, it has one thing more, and
that's what I could never take --
(looking at Stellman's
It's got Second-Lieutenants.
The barman, listening, senses trouble and signals with his
eyes to a big bouncer down the bar. The bouncer moves up
If you want to make it a personal
I don't make it anything, soldier.
You tried to sell something and I
didn't buy it -- so why don't you
just beat it?
They stare at each other for a long second, then Stellman
If I weren't in uniform, I might
teach you some manners.
If you could teach me anything, you
wouldn't be in a uniform.
Stellman's jaw tightens; then he turns and exits abruptly.
The barman sighs with relief; the bouncer turns away.
You couldn't be looking for trouble,
I could, but I'm not.
That's fine, because this is one of
the best places West of the Atlantic
Ocean to find it.
That was my first impression.
(as Haven looks at
That Lieutenant's a nice young boy.
I don't doubt it, but his mouth is
too big -- like your ears.
He turns away from the bar, after flipping a coin on to it,
while the barman stands there not knowing whether to be angry
CAMERA FOLLOWS Haven, as he threads his way through the tables
towards the door. His eyes catch sight of the girl who sang
at the piano, Charlie. She is sitting at a table with Prince.
Prince murmurs to her and she glances at Haven, then looks
away again. Haven notes it. As he comes near the table, the
blonde who spoke to him at the bar, accosts him again.
How is it now?
(flipping her a coin)
It's all right -- try it.
Haven is looking at Charlie. She is checking a stack of coins
the blonde has turned in to her. She glances up with a
fleeting smile at Haven.
It's not a good habit if it makes
you pick fights.
Only with Second Lieutenants.
We like Second Lieutenants here.
Their gazes meet and Prince notes it with narrowing eyes.
The gaze holds like a spell, and then Charlie's smile comes
back, from nowhere.
You see -- here everybody fights,
except the Army.
Haven looks at her, fascinated. She can feel a fascination
herself. Now Haven smiles a little.
I wouldn't know --
So anyone who doesn't like the Army --
I know what you mean, but I'm afraid
I'll have to come back. I like the
way you sing.
She looks at him in a second's silence. Haven turns and
leaves. She watches him go. Prince studies her face, his own
grim. A croupier comes up and places a paper before her. She
hardly notices it.
Charlie snaps out of it long enough to initial the paper.
That's his limit.
There's a sucker getting hot with
the dice at Ed's table.
He turns away. Prince sits still, his eyes on Charlie, his
slim fingers at an habitual trick, that of idly stacking
dice in a little pillar and then picking the pillar aloft by
holding the lowest dice pinched between the thumb and
forefinger, NOT by the edges, but by the sides. Now he does
it as he watches Charlie's face. Her eyes glance again at
the disappearing back of Haven. The sense of fascination
seems to have gotten her, too. Then she realizes the presence
of Prince and his shrewd gaze. She looks at him coolly.
Well -- cool him off.
Prince flips the dice into his palm and rises...
EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN - NIGHT
The board sidewalk has given way to a rutty dirt road. Now
the racket of the saloon street is just a ghost of noise,
the road dark and silent. Haven has emerged from the saloon.
He glances up the street. Fifty yards ahead, Stellman is
walking slowly. Stellman pauses, shoots a quick glance
backwards, then goes on. Haven follows, going leisurely up
the street after Stellman.
ANGLE on a corner as Stellman turns it, pauses and waits.
When Haven reaches it, Stellman goes on in silence.
EXT. MRS. CASLON'S MINE-CABIN - NIGHT
As Stellman reaches it, pauses and glances behind him. Then
he rings a bell. Haven comes up and waits in silence, glancing
at the dark interior. A woman's face now peers through the
door window and then the door opens. Stellman enters quickly
and Haven follows.
INT. MRS. CASLON'S MINE-CABIN - NIGHT
As Stellman and Haven follow Mrs. Caslon to a rear door.
Looking around, Haven notes in the shadows a desk and in a
corner the big safe. (This room is described in a subsequent
scene.) So as to emit the least light, Mrs. Caslon lets
Stellman and Haven go through, then quickly follows them and
quickly shuts the door.
INT. MRS. CASLON'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
It is remarkably neat and elegant inside. As Haven, glancing
around, pauses inside, he finds himself facing a burly
uniformed cavalry officer, captain's bars gleaming on the
side of his collar. The captain is big and broad and scowling.
He is standing by the fireplace and his eyes are boring into
Haven's with curiosity and perhaps, suspicion. Stellman steps
forward as Haven and the captain are measuring each other.
Captain Iles -- the Commanding Officer
of the Post.
Haven gives a casual nod.
Mr. Haven -- sir.
Iles looks him up and down. Haven hands him an envelope which
he slips into his tunic without removing his gaze from Haven.
I see you finally got here.
I seem to finally get everywhere.
They eye each other, Iles scowling, Haven thinly smiling.
The sense of conflict is already between them.
Mrs. Caslon, -- Mr. Haven.
She nods and smiles warmly.
You've met Mr. Stellman.
It came off beautifully. He picks a
very good fight. In fact, I think
I'm still a little sore at him.
Sit down, Mr. Haven.
Thank you, Captain.
He sits down. Iles is still studying Haven.
So you're operating under sealed
Haven nods agreeably.
All this mumbo jumbo is characteristic
of the Military Information
We use it as sparingly as possible.
Iles pulls out a cigar, lights it, sizing Haven up.
I've been in this territory for a
number of years -- and I think it
might be a little rougher here than
a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Then why is M.I.D. sending you out
Because two soldiers have been
And they think I can't handle that?
They merely know you haven't.
There is a tight little silence, while Iles formulates his
dislike for this newcomer.
I have only ninety-four men on the
post, with Indian trouble up north.
The War Department has refused to
send reinforcements, or am I boring
I'm not the War Department.
The two soldiers were killed while
escorting one of the gold stages.
Is escorting gold a function of your
Young man, the functions of my command
look very pretty on paper, but they're
not very practical in a territory
like this. Do you have any illusions
I have no illusions about anything.
Haven takes out his pipe and fills it.
What's happening to the gold?
I've permitted it to be stored in a
warehouse on the post. Now everybody
is waiting to see what I do next.
What do you do next?
Aren't you here to tell me?
(lighting the pipe)
Captain, you're in a bad way.
(going over to discard
Wells Fargo won't convoy gold. You
tried and failed and two men are
dead. The gold is piling up on the
post and you can't move it. Your
post is under-manned. You want the
Quartermaster at Platte to replace
seventy uniforms sent to the freight
office at West Rim City --
The freight building burned down
with the uniforms! I'm not operating
a fire department -- and if I was,
West Rim City is sixty miles away!
That doesn't concern me either.
The killing of two soldiers.
They were my men, Haven, and I'm
trying every way I know to find out
who murdered them.
So will I.
For the first time Iles looks amicably at him, as though
realizing that after all the man isn't there to criticize
You'll find it harder than you think.
I don't know how you operate, but
it's a dangerous job that can get
He smiles slightly at Iles, who gives him a slight smile in
return, somehow intrigued by this nonchalance. Haven rises
from the chair, lighting the dead pipe in vain.
Perhaps I can get some help from the
You can forget him. He's a miserable
man that somebody is using to keep
the law a joke.
You make it sound very difficult.
Why don't you just wrap up your flag
and take it back East with you?
Tell me, how will I know what you're
I'll let you know from time to time.
That's very obliging of you.
But I don't want to visit the Army
Then report to me through Mrs. Caslon
here. You can be a friend of her
husband's. He owned the Argus mine
and died last year. If that meets
Haven glances at Mrs. Caslon, smiles back at Iles.
Only if it meets with hers.
I'd be delighted to help.
(she smiles at Haven)
(grim at the smile)
Is that all?
I think so.
Iles marches out abruptly, followed by Stellman. The door
shuts. Haven smiles after him, then at Mrs. Caslon.
He really isn't that abrupt -- he --
The door opens again, smartly, Iles marches back in, kisses
Mrs. Caslon on the cheek.
Then he marches out again, shutting the door after him.
I think he secretly likes you.
He's a man who can sure keep a secret.
Would you like a little sherry?
Only if you have some too.
She goes over to a sideboard and pours a little from a
decanter into two wine glasses. Haven watches her. For the
first time he realizes she is a very attractive woman. She
smiles as she brings him the wine.
To your good luck.
Haven nods and they sip.
What mine did the two soldiers try
to convoy the gold from?
My mine -- The Argus.
(smiling a little)
That brings me to a question I decided
not to ask.
(smiling back at him)
Then I'll answer it first. Captain
Iles has asked me to marry him.
I can understand that.
But you can't understand why Captain
Iles should be involved in the gold
I do now.
It isn't just mine. You must realize
there's a lot of gold from all over
the territory stored at the post
Perhaps as much as half a million.
In fact, I have about fifty thousand
in my safe now.
Who is doing all this?
I don't know... that's the worst
part of it... not knowing.
(puts down the glass,
pats her shoulder
I might find out.
He starts for the door and she follows him. At the open door
Don't get into trouble --
That's why I'm here.
I know, but --
Don't worry about it. Trouble and I
are old enemies. We understand each
(he grins at her)
Haven walks out and she closes the door thoughtfully and
turns away. In a moment the door opens and Haven reenters
and crosses to her much in the manner that we have seen
Captain Iles do so. Haven stops.
You didn't tell me your husband's
He turns and goes out the door. Mrs. Caslon stands smiling
after him. The smile fades for a moment -- then she dismisses
it with a shrug.
EXT. MAIN STREET - NIGHT
As Haven saunters along. He pauses, glances up at a sign
that reads: HOTEL. Then he enters the dingy building.
INT. HOTEL - NIGHT
As Haven enters the small dismal lobby, and goes over to the
desk, where a little man, Orville Weekly sits, singing to
himself softly and strumming an accompaniment on a battered
guitar. As Haven stands there the clerk finishes the verse
about the stranger. Haven nods approval. The clerk looks at
You must know everybody in town.
Everybody but one. I don't know you.
What's your name? You seem to be a
pretty clever fellow.
Orville Weekly, and I can't be a
total blank. I been here six years
and I ain't dead yet.
Have you got a vacant room?
Day, week, month?
I don't always know. And the way you
talk a man couldn't be very sure.
Then it's eight bucks, cash in
Haven puts down the money; the clerk spins the registry to
him, watches as Haven signs it. And he can read that way.
From Arizona, huh?
No -- I always put down where I'm
going next -- so I won't forget.
The clerk spits, hands him a key.
Room ten -- end of the hall. Make
your own bed. Furnish your own towels.
Your bag's over there.
(picking up the key)
Thanks a lot for the key. I'll be
Haven crosses to exit into the street.
INT. CHARLIE'S SALOON - NIGHT
As Haven enters. It is crowded. Haven pauses by a table. He
sees Charlie at the piano singing. He sees Mick cross to
Prince and say something, then Prince gazes in his direction.
Haven's eyes meet those of Prince suddenly turned to him,
cold as glass. Charlie, seeing that Haven is watching and
listening to her impromptu singing, stops and makes her way
through the crowd towards a booth off the dance floor. Haven's
eyes follow her.
MED. SHOT - of booth as Charlie sits down. A sandwich is
waiting for her. She takes a bite of it, then glances up to
see Haven standing beside the table.
How about eating alone? Is that a
bad habit too?
Just when you have to pay for it.
It's only money.
I've changed my mind since I left
here awhile ago. I don't want to
pick a fight -- or break the bank --
What changed your mind?
That's what I came back to find out.
Charlie glances at him, then at the crowd where Mick Marion
stands beside Prince. Both are looking coldly towards the
booth. Haven's gaze follows hers towards Mick, as Prince
leaves the big man.
Maybe it would be better if you found
No, it wouldn't... I looked.
She smiles slightly back at him, glances away towards Mick.
Haven looks too, curiously. Mick is still watching, coldly.
Others glance too, as though this were an unexpected thing.
Mick takes a drink from a passing waiter; kills it in one
gulp. Haven looks back at Charlie's face and smiles.
That man in ape's clothing -- could
he be Charlie?
His eyes follow you around like a
couple of flies.
They follow me to see that strangers
don't annoy me.
No one else would be so foolish.
First, you're beautiful. Then I like
the way you sing -- and now you're a
woman of mystery.
(to a passing waiter)
The waiter nods and leaves. Charlie is still gazing at Haven
with that slight provocative smile.
I don't want to be a stranger, so
I'll have to be foolish.
You like to take chances, don't you?
If I feel lucky.
Then I'd advise you to try the dice
I'd rather get lucky here.
Every man has a right to go to his
(as the waiter sets
down the champagne
I could be your cousin from
Waxahatchio. I could be cousin John,
a missionary on his way to China.
The waiter leaves, as Charlie still regards Haven with a
curious interest. Haven is glancing again toward Mick, just
as that animal barrels down another whiskey.
He seems to be a lot of man.
The most in town.
At this moment Prince comes into scene and sits at the table.
Haven looks at him but Charlie offers no introduction.
It's a very small town.
(he sips and gazes
You could get it all in this saloon.
We usually do.
So Charlie probably runs the town.
(toying with his dice)
Why do you care?
I'm going to spend some time here. I
want to know who winds the clock.
He glances up and a slow smile comes over his face as Mick
Marion is seen approaching deliberately and with cold menace.
Her eyes follow his, then back to his face.
It's been a nice conversation. I
hate to have it end.
Blank-faced and big, Mick arrives at the booth. He stares
from Charlie to Haven. Haven looks at him then at Charlie.
Charlie watches Haven's face, but the smile remains. It seems
to sway her, this little test of expression.
(after a taut pause)
Mick -- this is -- cousin John.
Mick is not quite sure.
What's keeping him?
I think he's wondering if he couldn't
do more good here.
Haven senses now it is a little game they're playing together
on him. His smile remains. He reaches for the bottle, his
hand grasping the base of it, just as Mick reaches for it
too, clenching the top. Mick lifts at it; Haven's hand holds.
They look at each other as this little game of strength goes
You aren't very friendly, are you,
A friend to all is a friend to none.
You ought to learn not to pick 'em
so easy, like you do your cousins.
I never saw him before in my life.
That does it. Mick wrenches at the bottle, and as he does
so, Haven releases his grip. The bottle shoots up. The wine
spills over Mick's face and clothes. Infuriated, Mick flings
the bottle at Haven, but Haven ducks as he comes out of the
chair. The bottle crashes against the wall, and Haven's fist
crashes against Mick. The big man grunts and staggers back,
but he doesn't drop. As Haven sets himself, he is suddenly
pinned from behind by two bouncers. Mick stands still, staring
at him, his cut lip bleeding.
You're too little to make that big a
You want to correct me or just bleed
at the mouth?
There is a dead silence. At the crap table the dice read
seven but no one looks at them, all turning toward the scene.
A minor rises and the girl on his lap hits the floor. A drunk
steals a drink and no one sees him. (Business with glass)
Prince looks on coldly. Mark Bristow, moving up from the
dice table, pauses and stares.
Bring him outside.
The two bouncers start with Haven toward the door, Mick
following. A rear rises and men begin following in their
silent wake. Only the guy at the piano keeps on playing: he
ANGLE on Charlie as she rises. Bristow and Prince have
sauntered over to her as the place empties, leaving only the
Did you find out what he wants?
He wanted to be my cousin.
(they follow her)
Only I haven't any aunts or uncles.
But you never know -- and the least
I can do is bury him.
Prince lets go with one of his rare smiles as he looks
admiringly at Charlie. They reach the door. The crowd opens
for them a little.
EXT. SALOON - NIGHT
As Mick and Haven come out; the crowd makes a noisy clearing.
There are bets going down. As soon as the crowd has formed
an open space, Haven wheels and smacks Mick across the face
hitting with the heel of the hand, so that Mick rocks back
almost going down. There is dead silence. Mick sets himself
for the Kill, as he peels his coat.
Bristow is shaking with excitement.
Mick will kill him.
That's ten to one.
I don't like the other fellow's
chances, but I'm a sucker for odds.
You should always bet on a champion.
Then you can only lose once.
You give ten to one...?
I'll take it.
You're down. A thousand to a hundred.
As they stare at the fight --
FULL SHOT - fight scene. As Mick is slowly advancing toward
Haven. He suddenly swings a haymaker which Haven easily ducks,
another and another that Haven evades.
Don't miss so much. You'll got tired.
Mick misses again, fiercely and Haven cracks him one in the
midriff. Then steps out fast and waits.
Mick charges and Haven catches him full in the mouth. It
stops Mick, and then Haven socks him again, this time with
the butt of his hand -- open palm -- on the nose. Mick is
surprised, tasting the blood on his hurt lips.
ANGLE on Charlie, Mark and Prince, as they watch. Charlie's
eyes are fixed with a kind of admiration on Haven. Prince
watches without interest. Mark is tense and excited.
He can fight a little.
A little won't be enough.
But you feel she wishes it might...
ANGLE on the fight.
Stand still and fight.
As Mick closes again, Haven stops quickly to one side,
clipping him behind the ear as he goes by. But this time
Mick keeps after Haven and finally connects. It is more of a
push than a clean hit, but even so the force of it drives
Haven off balance and he sprawls on his back. As Mick, sensing
victory, charges, Haven knows he can't get to his feet in
time, so he turns his body and springs at Mick's knees
shoulder first. The impact spills Mick on his face; before
he can recover, Haven dives on him, hands flat on his own
chest and palms turned out. His body crashes heavily, angling
across Mick's head, and Haven's savagely pushing hands mash
the other man's face into the hard ground. Then he rolls
clear and comes to his feet, breathing easily, waiting. Mick
gets up, shaking his head to clear it, mad and hurt. As he
closes ponderously in on Haven, his booted foot suddenly
shoots out. Haven twists his knee cap away but takes the
blow on the inside of his thigh, numbing the leg so that he
almost goes down. And now Mick gets to him. His great arms
close around Haven's waist, his hands locked in the small of
Haven's back. Haven braces himself against the crushing
squeeze, tensing his back muscles and stiffening his spine,
but there is nothing he can do against the implacable brute
power of the other man.
The sweat stands out on Haven's face as Mick's great strength
bends him over farther and farther. He must do something,
and soon, or his back will be cracked like a barrel stave.
Suddenly he bends his knees and lifts his feet up from off
the ground. Mick, suddenly finding Haven's full weight pulling
him forward, crashes down on top of him. With all the strength
left in him, Haven brings his knee to the pit of Mick's
stomach; as Mick's hold breaks, Haven rolls clear.
Now they are both hurt. Haven's ribs and chest are so bruised
that it is agony to take a breath. He knows it has to end
quickly or he is done for, and he goes all out. As Mick tries
to close with him again, he stands his ground and throws
pile-driver punches to Mick's midsection; as Mick finally
lowers his arms to cover his body, Haven shifts his attack
to the face. This is not Mick's style of fighting, but as he
lashes back clumsily and angrily, each time he touches Haven
it is with punishing power. Toe to toe, they slug it out,
the belt now unwound and dangling from Mick's fist, both men
groggy but both refusing to go down. Finally Mick is helpless
to protect himself, but Haven hasn't got power left to knock
him off those sturdy legs. Gathering himself, Haven hurls
his body shoulder first at Mick's chest but he miscalculates,
glances off and falls flat on his face. As he rolls over,
dogged and slow with exhaustion, he sees that his weight has
staggered Mick; the big man has taken a step back, and now
he starts to walk forward. Dazed and blind with pain, he
passes Haven, staggers forward until the tie-rail stops him.
There he stands, his hands on the rail, moving his head from
side to side like a wounded animal.
The crowd is silent now, waiting. Haven gets to his feet,
drunk with weariness. He puts a hand on Mick's shoulder, but
hasn't the strength to whirl him around. He braces himself
with one hand against the tie-rail, and almost in slow motion
pulls Mick around and clips him one last time with his
remaining strength. Mick goes down.
(getting up very slow)
You can't do this.
Before he is up he goes down again, unable to make it.
(in the dirt)
Nobody can do this... to me.
The crowd is transfixed. They can't even cheer. The two
bouncers lean over the fallen Mick.
Somebody just did.
They pick up Mick as Haven stupidly watches. Then as Haven
turns and goes away, swaying and weak, the roar rises. He
pushes aside people who try to assist him. They move aside
and watch him leave. The crowd goes back in the saloon behind
the vanquished Mick...
ANGLE on Charlie, Bristow and Prince. Prince watches the
beaten Mick go by with a smile of contempt. Charlie's eyes
are fixed on the vanishing lonely figure of Haven. Mark's
eyes are dancing.
I can't believe it. Mick Marion losing
a fight and me winning a thousand!
Give it to him, Prince -- in chips.
Bristow follows Prince, wiping his forehead. Charlie remains,
looking down the now empty street where Haven vanished, a
strange soft look in her eyes, a slow smile mounting her
INT. HOTEL - NIGHT
Orville behind his desk is strumming softly on the guitar,
his eyes following Haven as the latter slowly and somewhat
painfully walks in and across the lobby. All the way to the
desk the clerk watches Haven, strumming softly. Haven pauses
and smiles very faintly at him. The clerk puts the guitar
aside. There is a coffee pot and cup on the desk.
Have some coffee?
(leaning on the desk)
Orville pours it quickly.
(turning back to pick
up a pitcher and a
They told me who was fightin'. I was
getting ready to rent your room.
Cream or sugar?
Orville pours the "cream" from a whiskey bottle. Haven sips
(looking with mild
Myself, I'd rather fight a forest
So would I...
He finishes the coffee, turns and starts for his room. Orville
tosses two towels on Haven's shoulder as the latter goes.
Strumming the guitar again softly, he watches with admiration
the retreating form of Haven.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Haven stands in the darkness only lighted by lights of the
saloon next door. He stands there looking vaguely out the
window, sucking his knuckles absently as he listens to the
piano playing. Then he goes wearily to the bed and falls on
it gratefully, shutting his eyes, the towels still across
his shoulder. There is a moment of silence and then a soft
KNOCK at the door. Another KNOCK, and painfully Haven lifts
himself on one elbow and drags out his gun. The door opens
and Charlie enters. She shuts it behind her and stands looking
at him. He lets the gun fall and turns over on his back.
Charlie walks across to the bed and stands looking down at
How do you feel?
Like a million dollars.
You just cost me a thousand. You
lost your pipe in the fight. I brought
it to you.
She puts it on the table beside the bed. Haven's eyes follow
her. She sees the towels, takes them to the washstand, soaks
them and brings them back and compresses them gently on
Haven's bruised face. When she takes the towel away, he pulls
himself up a little, propped against the pillow, looking at
her curiously. She sits down on the edge of the bed.
Do you always get sweet with the men
who fight over you?
Only the winners.
He watches her as she wets the towels again, returns and
wraps his hands in them, sitting again on the edge of the
Tell me something --
(he lies back)
That fellow might have killed me --
Where do you bury the losers?
He is almost asleep. She takes the now unused towel and puts
it back in the basin, soaks it, returns with it and tucks it
against the side of his face.
You talk too much.
What do you want -- the next dance?
I think you'd better sit this one
He is sound asleep the next second. She stares at him; rises,
puts the blanket over him and goes quietly out.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY
Haven comes to the desk from his room. Orville is singing
another verse of the ballad. The clerk favors Haven with an
admiring smile. The coffee pot is there.
Have some coffee?
Orville strums the strings as Haven drinks, having a little
trouble with his sore hands.
The way you run this dump I knew you
must be good at something else.
Some call me the town poet -- and
some the village idiot. Who am I to
question either? How you feel today?
Like I crawled here from Kansas City.
Well, it figures to make you pretty
famous. Fact, people been askin' for
That gold mine lady -- Mrs. Caslon.
Couldn't do better. And Charlie.
You seem impressed.
Why not? Charlie owns a piece of
everything, includin' the undertaker
and the sheriff.
The stage line too?
Everything but the Wednesday Bible
Class. Even owns a piece of me.
Takes your money while you're here,
and makes you pay to leave.
(putting down the cup)
When you get the next verse I'd like
to hear it.
Can't find no word to rhyme with
(as he turns away)
He walks off. Orville ponders this, scowling into space.
INT. MRS. CASLON'S MINE-CABIN
Iles is pacing the floor. Mrs. Caslon is occupied with some
minor domestic chore. Stellman is standing by the door. Iles
is a ball of fire.
Of all the stupid bonehead plays!
What did he fight about -- don't
tell me a woman?
That's what they tell me.
Who started it?
I don't know, but Haven finished it.
That probably strikes you as a very
Well, I don't think so! I have men
who can use their fists. Why didn't
they send a man who could use his
There is a knock at the door. Iles gives her a look; then
glares at Stellman.
Well -- open it up!
Stellman opens the door and Haven walks in. He pauses, glances
around and smiles. Mrs. Caslon smiles at him.
Hello, Mrs. Caslon.
She smiles and nods. Irons. Haven can feel the surcharged
air. Deliberately he assumes that casual manner that so burns
Mr. Haven, we may not have very much
around here that pleases you, but we
do have a strict post regulation
against brawling in the town. Now
would you like to explain what
happened last night?
I came here to return Mrs. Caslon's
Iles glances sharply at Mrs. Caslon, and then to Haven.
(indicating a chair)
Haven sits, wincing a little. But he beams at Iles, who now
picks a book off the table.
This book I have in my hand is the
Army Register, 1882.
Haven inspects his knuckles.
I am now going to read from it.
(finds the place;
"Haven, John Martin, born Ohio 1852.
Appointed Second Lieutenant. Promoted
First Lieutenant 20th Infantry, March
1880; reduced in rank to 2nd
Lieutenant January 12, 1881."
He tosses the book on the table, glaring at Haven.
Is that correct?
It's the Army Register.
Haven, you've lost your rank once.
It may very well happen again.
To almost anybody.
Maybe if you'd let him explain... He
might have a good reason.
Even a bad reason would delight me.
What would you like to know?
Did you pick that fight?
Those things can become very vague.
Iles scowls to him.
And where do you expect all this to
That is a question I prefer not to
I think you're trying to carry your
authority too far.
Haven goes to the door, gently touching his sore jaw. At the
door he turns.
Perhaps, but there's one thing,
Captain Iles... We had an arrangement
that we wouldn't meet -- you and I --
except through Mrs. Caslon... I think
it's important to keep it that way...
(one more glance back)
And I like it better.
He smiles and leaves, closing the door as he goes. Iles stands
there frozen with rage a moment. Then his face relaxes in a
grim smile. He glances at Stellman as he takes a cigar out
and bites it off.
INT. SALOON - DAY
Business is slack. Girls drink coffee and knit at a table.
Ernie polishes glasses at the bar. A colored man cleans a
crap table. All look up with curiosity and esteem as Haven
enters; all but Sam, the piano player, who goes on playing.
Haven goes to the bar. Ernie nods at him.
Doesn't he ever stop playing?
Sam? It don't bother him. He's deaf.
Where do I find the boss?
First door top of the stairs.
Mick been around?
Haven goes to the stairs. The eyes of the girls follow him.
Top of the stairs -- as Haven reaches the door, wincing at
the climb. He KNOCKS with the heel of his hand, hurts it,
then uses his boot toe.
Haven opens the door.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAY
This is a big corner room, the windows of which look out
over the main street. The chairs are big and there is a roll-
top desk in the corner, a big leather sofa, and on the walls
some framed pictures. At a table Prince sits. He has six
dice stacked on top of each other and he is lifting the
column. Charlie is seated behind the desk smiling. Haven
looks from one to the other.
You wanted to see me?
They said Charlie --
She seems to enjoy Haven's momentary confusion. Prince is
(nods toward Prince)
This is Prince. Don't ever gamble
You mean with his equipment?
Prince gives him a thin smile and rises.
She means either.
(he crosses to door)
See you later, Charlie.
Prince saunters out.
Haven sits in a big chair, very gingerly; takes out his pipe
You surround yourself with very
It makes me feel at home.
You're not that sinister. Last night
with the wet towels you were Florence
Nightingale in silk stockings.
(stretching his legs,
looking at her)
Have you got a match?
She comes over with one and lights his pipe.
There's one in my pocket but I hate
to reach for it... thanks.
She takes his hand and looks at the cut knuckle.
She walks out of the room and he watches her; then around
the room. In a moment she returns, pulls up a chair in the
front of him and sits down. She has bandages and a little
jar of ointment.
Now you're Florence Nightingale again.
She takes one of his bruised hands, and as she bandages his
hands slowly, carefully and rather expertly, they talk.
Why did you pick that fight?
I thought you did.
You could have insisted I was your
Perhaps that isn't the way I felt
(as his knuckle hurts)
She smiles at him and then goes on.
Where did you get the name of Charlie?
It was my father's. My name is
Charlene, but --
He watches her face.
I like that better... Charlene...
(she doesn't answer)
This'll be the first time I ever
worked for a woman.
(giving him a glance)
What makes you think you're going to
work for me?
You sent for me.
(finishing the bandage)
She stands up. Haven looks at her and ignores his bandaged
(walking towards the
All right, I sent for you. I was
doing a nice quiet business. That
was because everybody was afraid of
Mick. Now every time a man has enough
drinks in him to feel rugged he'll
try to do what you did.
But they will.
That's not the job I want. I don't
intend to start at the bottom. I've
been there. It's too crowded.
Where do you want to start?
With the money.
And what will you do for it?
Anything -- except hang. How did you
get -- all this?
I learned one thing from my father.
As long as men think they can beat
the tables, all you have to do is
get a table. Sometimes they run out
of cash and I find myself with new
Such as --
A couple of stores for one thing.
I can't see myself behind a counter.
A sawmill, and a logging camp. The
logging camp's a long way from town.
Haven gets the meaning and shakes his head.
I own the stage line from here to
West Rim City, but that's a dud.
Outlaws. The money was in gold
shipments. Now the mines won't ship
I'll take that job.
You mean ride shot-gun?
I mean run the line.
Don't force your luck. You won a
fight last night. You could lose one
Today I'd hate to tangle with a
What do you think you'll get out of
running the stage line?
A commission on all the gold I get
That should buy you a small beer.
Glad to get it.
It's pretty dangerous. Even Wells
Fargo locked up their station and
Who steals the gold?
Who doesn't? All they have to do is
put a mask on and they all look like
Give me a letter of authorization.
(going to the desk)
I can't bet against you twice, can
As she writes out the authorization, Haven saunters to the
window, then over to the desk. Charlie finishes and hands
him the paper. Haven scans it, pockets it.
(smiling at him)
You know I forgot to ask you one
I'm working for you now. You can ask
Haven is moving to the door and she beside him. They pause.
How do I know I can trust you?
He looks at her face, neck and hair. She looks pretty good.
Only with money.
Haven looks squarely at her a moment, then smiles. He reaches
out one bandaged hand and pats her shoulder.
He walks out, and Charlie remains standing there, staring
after him, just a little hazily.
EXT. STAGE LINE DEPOT - DAY
As Haven walks through the wide gate into a compound. There
are several unhitched stages and freight wagons, one or two
in partial disassembly and being serviced. A colored boy is
readying a horse and buggy and beside him, overlooking the
yard activities, is a bespectacled man with rubber sleeve
garters. He is the manager. He has eyes like Armadillo and
claw-like hands; otherwise, he could be your loan agency
man. Seeing Haven he crosses to him.
(looking him over)
Are you the manager?
My name's Haven.
I've heard about you. You're the
fellah who took Mick Marion apart.
(looking at him)
Almost knocked me off my feet. But
my feet ain't been any good since I
followed Stonewall Jackson.
What business you got with me?
(handing him the note)
I'm the new boss.
The manager glances at the note, after moving his spectacles
out of the way. He gives it back without a word, and turns
toward the rear office door. Haven halts him.
Wait a minute. You're not fired.
I got to be. There ain't enough work
around here for one man, let alone
Two can loaf as easy as one.
Jim Goddard and Jerry enter from the rear office door. Jerry
is the younger. Goddard walks a little stiffly with the aid
of a cane.
They halt and look at Haven. The Manager jerks a thumb at
Talk to him. He just took the reins.
(indicating the two
This is Jim Goddard. He's a regular
stage driver. Jerry here runs freight
to the sawmill. Boys, your new boss.
(with a grin of hero
I gotta start out of here for the
sawmill before daybreak. Is that all
right, Mr. Haven?
Haven nods, after a glance at the manager.
I seen that fight last night. It was
sure a beauty.
Glad you enjoyed it.
What I liked was the way you --
Let's not talk about it. Right now
it hurts my hands to listen.
He walks out, looking back with an awesome smile. Haven looks
curiously at Goddard, who has been standing in silence, a
thin smile on his lips.
What happened to you?
My last run. I stopped a bullet.
Did you get a look at them?
I wish I had.
I think I'm going to need you and
not on one leg. So sit down and give
it a rest.
He obeys. Haven watches and then turns to the manager.
I'm coming back later and sit behind
your desk. I'll need the keys.
(taking keys from his
Only things here that work.
The manager, gives them to him. Then looks at him.
Son, I waste my time. I might as
well waste some advice. You're full
of blood and vinegar, but this whole
thing has got something wrong with
it. Goddard only got nicked in the
shin. You might not be so lucky...
I might depend on something besides
Like for instance?
Well the fact that they don't seem
to shoot too straight.
They don't need to when they shoot
He turns, takes a few steps -- and turns back to Haven.
Worry it over.
The manager turns to go, shaking his head.
EXT. OFFICER COMPOUND
Haven, whistling softly, crosses to the colored boy who is
polishing the last specks of dust off the buggy. It is a
beautiful buggy attached to a beautiful horse. Haven pauses
and gazes at it.
The colored boy steps back and admires his work.
Sumpin', ain't it?
Who's it for?
Miss Charlie, Mr. Haven.
Where do you drive her?
Same places. Around the hills, down
the river, every afternoon.
I think I'll give you this afternoon
I shouldn't let you do this, suh...
(looking Haven over,
But ah am.
Haven climbs in the buggy, and the Colored Boy watches him
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAY
Charlie is dressed to go somewhere. She looks much nicer in
these clothes than in her show garments of the night. She is
listening to Prince who sits in a chair, the inevitable dice
in his fingers, two this time. There is a silence except the
rattle of the cubes. Then Prince speaks coldly.
Does this Haven move me out? Is that
Prince, you know I wouldn't part
But I always come up empty.
Not quite empty. I gave you what is
probably the one honest feeling you
ever had in your life.
I keep forgetting that. Pardon me.
What's the matter, Prince?
I don't like John Haven or anything
You've said that.
What do you know about him?
You want me to have him looked up in
the Social Register?
She gets up, goes to the window testily. Prince looks at her
coldly as she gazes at the street.
A man walks in out of nowhere --
And went against your table. Did he
play like a gambler?
He knew something.
Yes -- and he took Mick.
So he can fight.
You like that part, don't you?
He looks straight at her and she stares back, staring him
down at last. As his eyes lower, she turns again to the
I'll tell you one thing, Prince, I
don't like this part.
She is silent and Prince gets up and walks out. She does not
turn. Down in the street she can see Haven riding up in the
buggy, and the hard look on her face softens to a smile as
Haven climbs out of the buggy. Some people passing stare at
him, and whisper together. His fame has spread. He walks
inside, smiling a little.
INT. SALOON - DAY
As Haven enters. There is no play at the tables. Some at the
bar. The deaf pianist is pounding the keys softly. Prince
has just descended the stairs and gone to the dice table,
where he leans, his cold eyes fixed on Haven as the latter
goes to the foot of the stairs. At this moment Charlie appears
and descends the stairs, adjusting her hat. Haven stares at
her with admiration, as she descends, smiling at him.
MED. SHOT - Haven and Charlie, as she reaches the last step.
Stand there a second.
She looks at him.
Every time I see you, you look
different, but you always look
beautiful. Why is that?
I always have somebody to lie to me.
Take my hand --
But don't squeeze it.
She takes his arm instead and they walk towards the door.
MOVING SHOT - Charlie and Haven, as they go.
Tell me what you're doing with my
My work. I'm the new transportation
boss. You hired me.
MED. SHOT of Prince, as he stands at the table, watching
EXT. CHARLIE'S BUGGY - DAY
As Haven helps Charlie into the carriage.
I presume you're going shopping?
I wouldn't wear anything sold this
side of Chicago. I'm going to call
on a gentleman.
At this hour?
His name is Mark Bristow -- and any
hour, it would be strictly business.
He glances at her.
The way you say it -- he may need a
He's a lawyer himself, but it won't
(with a smile)
What good is a lawyer if he never
gets in a court?
Like a doctor in a graveyard. Where
is this unlucky man?
Across the street.
As Haven shrugs and turns the carriage to front of Bristow's
EXT. BRISTOW'S OFFICE - DAY
The letters on the window read:
Mark Bristow, Lawyer
As Haven pulls up in front of it with the carriage. He goes
around and helps Charlie alight, making it a little slow for
the sake of added intimacy and causing her to smile as though
she didn't resent it.
Shall I take the horses back and rub
Do you think they've gone far enough?
Then maybe you better wait and come
As Charlie starts in, Mrs. Caslon comes out and they pass.
Mrs. Caslon pauses to smile and Haven tips his hat. Charlie,
flashing a backward look, sees this.
EXT. BRISTOW'S OFFICE - DAY
MED. SHOT of Haven and Mrs. Caslon. Haven is talking to her
with apparent casualness because he realizes that Charlie
can see him.
I wonder if you'd do me a favor?
It's a big favor, and I wouldn't
blame you if you refused.
What is it?
I want to haul some gold from your
That IS a big favor.
I know it seems impossible to you,
but that's one reason why I'm here --
to find cut what makes it impossible.
Isn't that very risky?
That's why I couldn't go to anyone
I'm just wondering if we shouldn't
speak to Captain Iles first.
You know what he'd say.
(she smiles grimly
He'd advise against it -- but if it
works my way, it may clear everything
up -- for all of us -- and for Iles
too. The War Department doesn't like
all that gold around an Army Post.
He watches her face as she thinks it over.
We're working too much in the dark.
This may be the only way to see
something. It's a risk -- but someone
has to take it...
Who else will know of it?
Just us. That'll be all who know --
and that's the idea.
I'll arrange it.
Don't look so grim. It's only your
gold and my skin. And smile when you
walk away as though we'd been talking
about what a dry summer it's been.
She smiles and Haven pats her shoulder.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
As Bristow is talking. Charlie, looking through the window,
sees Haven and Mrs. Caslon part, Haven patting her shoulder
with that familiar gesture of his, then coming into the office
...You know I'll always cooperate --
as much as possible. But I haven't
Haven has entered in silence, seated himself in a chair.
Charlie does not look at him; her face, hard now, looks
straight at Bristow. He pauses as he glances at Haven with a
little nod Haven doesn't return.
(rising and going to
the desk with a sheaf
of papers, which she
places on his desk)
These are I.O.U.s for gambling. They
add up to six thousand dollars. Do
you want to count them?
(returning them to
Your credit's over, Mark.
My luck can turn, can't it?
Not on my tables.
I've seen other people fall in this
trap -- but I didn't think it would
He is sweating a little.
Nobody does. I'll have Prince drop
in and go over your books. Maybe we
can work something out.
But I told you --
That's the way it is, Mark. I pay
off on the line and I expect to get
paid. Give it some thought.
She whirls and walks out the door. Haven, fumbling for his
pipe and putting it in his teeth, follows her with a parting
glance at Bristow. For a long minute Bristow sits there alone,
his eyes staring at nothing; then as he mops the mildew of
sweat from his forehead:
INT. CHARLIE'S CARRIAGE - DAY
As Charlie and Haven drive in the country. The road winds
between hills now and a stream tumbles along beside the
winding road. The horse is moving at a snail's pace and
Charlie is gazing around at the scenery, relaxed and
You know, you remind me a little --
back there -- of a character I once
read in a book.
I had an idea you'd read a book.
What was the character?
Mark is mixed up. He's either crooked
without being smart, or honest without
being lucky. And that's no good.
I don't think I'd want to owe you
money -- even if I was honest.
When I was seven I robbed my own
It's hard to imagine you being seven.
I was very fat and ate a lot of candy.
Is that why you robbed your bank?
No... I robbed it to run away from
Did you do it?
Yeah, but I had to go back.
It got dark.
She laughs. They stop and get out.
STREAM BANK - DAY
FULL SHOT as Haven helps her down the bank to the edge of
the water. She sits on the edge of a huge flat boulder and
Haven stretches out beside her.
MED. SHOT of Haven and Charlie. As she looks at the stream
and then at him.
This is my favorite place in the
world... I always come here to think
The rook here and the stream. The
stream is always running away and
the rock is always watching it go.
It's two ways to be -- and I always
wonder which is the best.
They probably envy each other.
Do you suppose any woman could envy
I know it.
But not a good woman?
Nobody is any good. You mean
Respectable people are very useful --
but they bore me.
With certain exceptions.
Like Mary Caslon...
I thought we might get to that.
How did you happen to know her?
I knew her husband.
That's curious, considering --
Ben Caslon was a very upright citizen.
Meaning I'm not?
She's certainly not hard to look at --
and now she has the money and is --
-- also very respectable.
Then why would she be interested in
Because you're no good. And good
women like men who are bad for them.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
Fooling with her will get you nowhere
too -- except in trouble.
The army. Why is it you're always
getting mixed up with the army?
Haven has been idly flipping pebbles into the stream. He
sees a leaf float by.
What are the odds I hit the leaf?
Four to one.
(he flips the pebble,
What's the army got to do with Mrs.
She's engaged to Captain Iles.
He's the army boss here.
If you're going to frighten me, the
least you can do is hold my hand.
He holds out his hand and takes hers. Abruptly she starts to
rise, very piqued and unable to disguise it. Haven rises
too. Takes her hand to help her from the boulder. Then stops
and gazes at her, smiling.
This is where you ought to slip --
and I should catch you and kiss you.
She starts down; Haven moves too, but it is he who slips and
she who has to catch him. Her arms go automatically around
him. His around her. Before he can act himself, she holds
him tight and kisses him. It is a long kiss and on it we:
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - EVENING
Orville is strumming the guitar as Haven enters. He pauses
as Haven comes near on the way to his room.
Haven halts, walks over.
You finish that song?
It's my fatality. I never finish
Maybe it's just as well.
Maybe so. I thought I'd tell you.
Goin' back to your room will be a
waste of time.
I don't know what happened on that
buggy ride, but somebody came and
took all your truck.
He strums the strings.
And, naturally, you didn't do anything
What could I do?
You could have called the sheriff.
Set a thief to catch a thief, eh?
I paid my rent and I think I'm
entitled to know who stole my clothes.
He starts to his room.
(calling after him)
A man couldn't ask for no prettier
INT. HAVEN'S ROOM
Haven enters, glances around, sees the bag is missing. He
goes to the window, sees Charlie at saloon window across the
areaway. He leans out.
Charlie moves the window, smiling.
Hello... I've been wondering where
I lost my shirt.
You didn't imagine that I'd let you
live in that hotel, did you? I want
you available -- in case of trouble.
Where did I move?
In a very nice room upstairs.
(taking out his pipe)
When can you get my things back to
the hotel, Charlie?
She stares at him, the smile fading on her face.
Why don't you take them yourself?
Because that's not how they got here.
A slight pause.
You're really hard -- aren't you?
You have to play everything alone?
This hotel is no good. The service
is bad. The clerk's a poet, and the
mattress is not quite as soft as a
marble slab. But I'm beginning to
like it... and if I open this window,
and hear you singing...
Is that the way you want it?
That's the way.
They'll be there.
She turns abruptly from the window. Haven smiles and turns
EXT. STAGE LINE COMPOUND - NIGHT
Haven is finishing preparations for the ride. ANGLE ON Goddard
as he stands in shadow, watching. He carries a shotgun. As
Goddard moves from the shadow, Haven whirls, going for his
gun -- then relaxing as he recognizes the other man.
MED. SHOT of Haven and Goddard.
What brings you here?
I had a dream.
That you'd be back here tonight.
Maybe because you took the keys.
Don't they go with the job?
Haven stares at him a long moment; Goddard returns the stare
You know how it is with dreams. I
got the crazy idea you were going to
try something --
Like running a shipment.
Then what happened?
I wanted to be some help with it.
All right -- you've been some help.
Now you can go back to sleep and
I'll finish the dream for you.
The coach is ready. Goddard doesn't move.
I'm riding with you, Haven.
You got more than your leg hurt,
Maybe I just like to ride in the
moonlight if nothing happens.
And if it does?
Then I think I got a little better
right than you to be there.
(gazing at him)
I was just thinking -- a nice guy
like you probably has a nice girl
somewhere -- or a wife.
What are we gonna do -- have a little
chat about women?
Haven slowly grins at him; Goddard smiles back.
Some other time -- Let's go -- out
the back gate.
Goddard climbs up with his shotgun as Haven clambers up into
the driver's seat. As the coach turns and heads for the back
of the corral.
EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - NIGHT
FULL SHOT - the stagecoach, travelling across open flat
country, heading toward the distant hills.
CLOSE SHOT - Haven and Goddard in the driver's box, keeping
an eye about him as the teams gallop along in the moonlight.
What makes you so anxious to take
What makes you?
I'm on commission. With me it's a
matter of money.
And you think it's something else
I can't think of anything else --
(gazing out drily)
Some moonlight after all...
FULL SHOT as the stage rockets off into the darkness.
EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - NIGHT
The stage is now heading uphill, the gentle slope at the
beginning of the foothills.
EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - NIGHT
The road is steeper now, and winding.
ANOTHER ANGLE. The road is cut out of the side of the
mountain, leaving a sheer slope on one side, and high, thick
trees and brush on the other. As the stage follows a bend in
the road, a rider leaps out and grabs the lead horse. The
stage lurches crazily and almost overturns as it slows to a
stop. Before Haven can free his hands from the reins to go
for his gun, two shadowy figures, handkerchiefs helping the
darkness mask their faces, have jumped out onto the road
ahead and have him covered.
All right -- stretch!
Haven and Goddard raise their arms. Another bandit, from the
hillside, calls out:
Pile out with the hands up.
Two shotgun barrels cover the side of the stags. Goddard
gets off, hands in air.
Haven obeys, to join Goddard in the road, as the bandits
converge on the stage. There are five or six of them. Two
come up behind Haven and Goddard.
Turn around and keep 'em high.
The sacks are being loaded on a pack horse. Haven turns
Take it easy. They hang you just the
You, Goddard, start walking.
He gives Goddard a none too gentle shove. Goddard moves on
up the road in the darkness.
A FEW YARDS UP THE ROAD. Mick is waiting by his horse, his
gun drawn. We hear the steps of Goddard and the bandit.
SECOND BANDIT'S VOICE
That's far enough.
The footsteps halt. Mick aims and fires.
BY WAGON. There is a half grunt, half groan from Goddard.
Haven turns as if to protest and then crumples as a gun fells
CLOSE SHOT - Haven, lying face down on the ground,
As day breaks.
EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - DAWN
CLOSE SHOT - Haven. Haven comes to, gradually clearing the
cobwebs. Then suddenly he remembers Goddard and the shot. He
makes his way to where Goddard's body lies a few feet up the
road. Goddard's right hand is half in his hip pocket, as if
in his last dying moment he was reaching for something. As
Haven pulls the hand out, he sees that Goddard's fingers
have closed around his wallet. Puzzled, Haven opens the
wallet. There is a stiff-backed daguerreotype of his wife,
an expired Union Pacific Railroad pass, an express receipt,
a souvenir bank-note of the Confederacy, and a small, closely-
folded piece of paper. Unfolding this, Haven sees the top
"To Whom It May Concern"
HE READS FURTHER:
"This certifies that the bearer, James Goddard, is operating
as a legally deputized detective for Wells Fargo Stage and
Haven replaces the papers and lifts Goddard's body, carries
it to the stage and places it on the floor. He removes
Goddard's gun and shell belt and straps it on, closing the
stage door. Haven's face is grim as he studies the ground
nearby. The sticky mud shows clearly the new tracks of the
bandits' horses. As he starts unhitching one of his horses
from the wagon traces, we
EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - MORNING
A tiny clearing on a brush-filled knoll, where the remains
of a cooking fire are still visible, the ashes scattered
over the tamped-down ground. CAMERA PANS OVER TO Haven, on
horseback, as he studies the scene. This is where he evidently
made camp for the night. He dismounts, sifts the ashes through
his fingers to feel their warmth. He cannot be far behind.
Then he turns his attention to the trail loading away.
Inspection reveals that it divides, one group of fresh tracks
heading towards town, another smaller group further into the
mountains. He decides to follow the latter. As he mounts and
EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - MORNING
A high spot from which Haven can get a good view. Off in the
distance he sees:
LONG SHOT - FROM his ANGLE. A lone rider, leading a pack
horse, barely visible through the timber. He is heading away
CLOSE SHOT - Haven. He spurs his horse forward.
FULL SHOT - Haven, in pursuit of the man ahead.
EXT. STREAM - MORNING
The bandit, unaware of his pursuer, puts his horse and the
gold-laden pack horse through the stream. He comes out into
a meadow on the other side.
PAN SHOT - WITH Haven, as he comes to the stream. Half way
across, his horse momentarily loses his footing on the
MED. SHOT - bandit. Hearing the noise of Haven's horse, he
turns and sees his pursuer, takes a quick shot back at him,
then heads for the other side of the meadow where there will
be shelter, firing back as he rides.
MED. CLOSE SHOT - Haven. He takes careful and deliberate aim
FULL SHOT - FROM Haven's ANGLE. The bandit is almost at the
edge of the woods when Haven's shot gets him. He tumbles
from the saddle. Haven rides forward, gun ready in case it
is a trick.
EXT. MEADOW - MORNING
It is no trick. The bandit is down where he fell. When Haven
turns him over, the man's eyes are already glazed. Haven
puts his lips close to the dying man's ear.
Who sent you?
The man only glares up at him. Haven tries again.
You're a goner, brother -- you can
The man holds Haven's gaze defiantly and silently as the
life goes out of him. Haven lowers him back to the ground,
rifles his pocket. There are no papers on him, no
identification. He stands up. He has the gold back, but he
is no closer to rounding up the whole gang than he was before.
Unless -- he is looking at the horses, placidly grazing. He
goes up to them, ties up the loose lead reins, draws his
belt off, and gives them each a sharp crack on the rump with
the buckle. They take off across the meadow at a gallop.
Haven lets them get a good start before he mounts his own
horse, and follows after them.
EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - DAY
As Haven rides up to the edge of a downslope, gazes over a
broad valley, and sees:
LONG VIEW of a sawmill, nestled in the valley. It comprises
several sheds and buildings, with a long rank of stacked
logs beside the biggest shed, and all this is serviced by a
dirt road along which the two horses canter up to the camp.
Haven observes several men come out of the main office and
snag the two horses.
EXT. CAMP OFFICE - DAY
As two men who have snagged the horses now take off the gold
bags. In front of the office Pete, the camp boss, Ben and
Sam, two tough-looking accomplices, stand watching and
glancing up the road down which the horses came. There is a
frown on Pete's face.
(as Pete doesn't answer)
Something's gone wrong, Pete.
Pete looks thoughtfully at Joe's horse, pats his neck, again
locks up the road.
I know one thing. He was born on a
horse and he didn't just fall off
this one... go and take a look.
Two men mount and start away.
CLOSE SHOT of Haven. As he moves back out of sight. Obviously
he can't move into the camp now. Glancing off down the valley
he sees in the distance a work wagon approaching. It is still
hidden from sight of the sawmill by high ground between. He
puts his horse down the slope towards the approaching wagon,
at a tangent to the camp.
EXT. SAWMILL ROAD - DAY
As the work wagon lumbers along. Its markings identify it as
belonging to the stageline Haven now manages. We recognize
Jerry the driver as Haven rides up. Jerry gives him a grin
and a salute.
Hello there, Mr. Haven!
Hello, Jerry. What's the haul?
This is that load of grub for the
Want to ride my horse back to town?
What about the wagon here?
I'll finish the haul.
You're the boss.
He climbs down as Haven dismounts and turns the horse over
(throwing it away)
Any excitement in town?
Don't know, Mr. Haven. I left before
Take him easy. He's tired.
I'll give him a good rubdown.
Haven watches him ride away, then climbs aboard the wagon.
Picking up the reins, he notices the bandages on his hands
and, not wanting to be identified by them, rips them off.
Blowing on his still sore knuckles, he drives toward the
EXT. SAWMILL CAMP SITE - DAY
As Haven's wagon lumbers in. He looks curiously at the main
office. No one is in sight, but as he draws nearer, the
swarthy hard-faced man, Pete, comes out on to the porch.
Haven looks at him.
You see a rider comin' up?
Haven't even seen a lizard. Where do
I put this stuff?
Where did you put it before?
I never did. I'm a new driver. I
think it's grub.
Take it to the cook shack.
Haven flicks the reins, moves on. Pete watches suspiciously.
Haven moves on to the cook shack outside of which the cook
is busy dumping a pail of slop.
You the cook?
Nah. I just wear this hat to keep
the flies out of my hair.
It don't matter to me, brother. I
just haul this grub. I'd just as
soon haul it back.
Take it next door.
Haven pulls up by the warehouse next door and gets down.
There is nobody around, so he starts wrestling with the food
crates himself, taking the first one into the warehouse.
EXT. WAREHOUSE - DAY
It is big, barnlike, piled with provisions and equipment.
Haven stares around; carries the crate to where a similar
stack of crates are piled. Lowering the crate he notes a
shiny object, picks it up. It is a button from an army
uniform. He pockets it as his attention is distracted by two
horsemen passing outside. Haven goes out to continue
EXT. MAIN OFFICE - DAY
As the two horsemen ride up to Pete and dismount. Ben and
Sam are standing there.
(to the horsemen)
No sign of Joe. But there's the tracks
of another horse, circling the mill
and coming back on the road just
He glances toward the wagon where Haven is working.
Let's go and look at this guy again.
The five men move down to Haven's wagon.
ANGLE ON wagon and Haven, as he sees them come. His lip
tightens; then he relaxes and goes on lifting a crate. He
pauses as they come up and stand around him, their eyes fixed
Haven looks at him.
You sure you didn't see no rider?
Look -- you want me to say I saw a
rider? I'll say it. I'll say I saw a
ghost. It don't make any difference
When did you get this job?
It's the system. If I don't work I
don't eat. I never been able to find
any way to beat it.
Who hired you?
The guy that had the fight?
It is a risky little moment; Haven eases both bruised hands
into his coat pockets.
Friend of yours?
Any man who gives me a job is my
friend. Look, I'm working, I haul
this stuff out here. Nobody wants to
tell me where to dump it. Everybody
wants to know what I'm doin' and
what I haven't seen. I don't know. I
get thirty cents an hour. How smart
does that have to make me?
Don't get hot.
Pete's face relaxes; as do the grim faces of the others.
I ain't hot. I'm just mixed up.
Forget it. I got a load for you to
take back when you're done here.
Well, I haven't eaten anything but
dust since sun-up.
All right -- grab it quick.
(to the others)
Work on this stuff.
They start unloading and Haven goes to the cook house. Pete
watches him go. Ben notes it.
What do you think?
We risk him, that's all.
He don't look right to me.
He don't look any worse than the
rest of it looks right now.
Come on, get this junk out.
He lends a hand with Ben and Sam.
INT. COOKHOUSE - DAY
A big pot of stew is simmering on the fire. The cook is busy
slicing french fries. Haven enters.
How about a handout?
Haven begins ladling out some stew into a bowl, tastes it.
You cook pretty good.
I ought to. I used to cook for six
hundred men a day.
Where was that?
Haven shrugs and takes more stew; the cook goes on cutting
This used to be my mother's special
dish. She made it right out of the
My old woman couldn't boil a potato.
Haven takes another gulp in the silence that follows. Then
he says carelessly:
Who's boss around here?
I mean the whole works.
You talked to the man when you came
Real tough-looking fellah.
They're all tough till they get to
Mick come out here?
Last night -- and he looked like
somebody got to him.
Face all beat up --
Like your knuckles.
I had bad luck with a crate of
That's what he brought down here --
a cauliflower face.
You fight him?
Mick? Do I look like I would?
(looking at him)
Just the knuckles.
Ben's head appears in the doorway.
Hurry it up, driver!
Haven takes a last mouthful, turns toward the door.
Not many of the hands here, are there?
All up at the logging camp.
Much obliged. That was real fine
The cook isn't interested; he spits as he slices a potato.
EXT. SAWMILL OFFICE - DAY
Pete, Sam and Ben are waiting beside the gear box as we see
Haven bringing the wagon up.
Maybe this isn't such a good idea.
Who said it was? I just want that
gold outa here the easiest and
They watch Haven as he pulls up the wagon. Pete looks hard
at his face. Haven has the pipe in his mouth again, looking
very blandly at them.
You see this box?
It goes to Prince. Know who Prince
He runs things for Charlie. Know who
Haven climbs aboard. They look hard at him. He has stuck his
pipe in his mouth. He smiles at them and he picks up the
That's a gear box you're hauling
back and it's got to be repaired.
And you tell Charlie that if it ain't
repaired we might have to shut down
quick. You got that?
I got it.
All right -- then get out of here!
Haven flicks the reins, grins at them and drives off. Ben is
still worried and stares after the departing wagon.
EXT. MOUNTAINS - DAY
This is deserted country on the way to town. When the land
slopes steeply from the road down into a kind of wash, Haven
halts the wagon. He glances around. No sign of life. He takes
a hammer and chisel out of the tool box beside the seat,
crawls to the crate and prys it open. His cargo is gold.
Satisfied, he replaces the pried board, then pushes the crate
over the side. It topples down the bank, vanishes in the
brush at the bottom of the wash. With one more glance around,
Haven resumes his seat in the wagon, puts a match to his
pipe, and sends the horses forward at a faster clip.
LONG SHOT OF POST - DAY
INT. CAPTAIN ILES' OFFICE - POST
Iles is pacing up and down as Stellman enters quietly. Iles
promptly faces him.
Well -- what have you found out?
Goddard's body -- shot in the back.
And no sign of Haven?
One horse was missing. They might
have taken him away on that. They
wouldn't kidnap him if they'd killed
Why would they kill Goddard?
He was a Wells Fargo Detective.
I see... he was a man they couldn't
handle, so they shot him. But Haven
He may have followed them on the
And he may be fishing for trout in
the Verde River. Why do I always
learn everything last? Why must
everything be common gossip by the
time it reaches me?
I don't know, sir.
Neither do I, but I'll find out. The
Army didn't banish me out here to
set up a listening post. Bring the
man in, dead or alive. If he's alive,
But can you arrest him?
No, but I can take any living human
being into custody -- or am I mistaken
in this too?
Then go and do it!
Stellman turns and leaves obediently.
EXT. MARK'S OFFICE - EVENING
SHOT FROM Haven's ANGLE to include street activity. As Mark
approaches, opens the door and enters.
INT. MARK'S OFFICE - EVENING
As Mark enters in the semi-darkness and pauses, stiff with
fright at the sight of Haven sitting in the chair, a gun in
his hand. Mark opens his mouth but can't speak.
Draw those blinds, Bristow.
Numbly, Mark obeys; then turns.
All right -- light it up.
Mark lights the lamp. His voice is small and quavering.
Can't you put that firearm away.
I can -- but it quiets my nerves.
Mark pours a drink shakily from a decanter by his law library.
Mark gulps his in an ominous silence.
We'd given you up for dead -- we --
(idly rotating the
cylinders of the gun)
Why, everybody. They found Goddard's
boy -- didn't you know that? What
happened? Tell me about it.
I'm glad you got your voice back.
If you're trying to imply that you
frightened me, coming here like this,
you're right. I'm neither a hero nor
(he sits down)
They killed Goddard -- Why didn't
they kill you?
Somebody must have wanted me saved.
I don't know. Maybe a rainy day.
Only it might never rain.
Haven puts the gun away; rises, walks to the desk, pours a
drink for himself. Mark watches him shrewdly.
And what do you want from me?
I'm going to make a statement, which
you will write and notarize.
Is that all?
Yes -- except that you put it away
where it can't be stolen or tampered
I have a safe --
I can see you have.
Meaning you don't trust me.
I do -- but I don't think you trust
Where do you want it?
Mrs. Caslon has a safe -- a nice fat
I think I can arrange it.
All right -- here's the statement.
He saunters to the window -- glances through the crack of
the shades. When he turns, he notes that Mark has paper and
I solemnly swear that on Thursday
last, about eleven p.m. the stagecoach
in which I was riding was held up by
five armed bandits. The gold I was
hauling was stolen and James Goddard,
the guard, was murdered in cold blood.
He pauses, looks stonily at the face of Mark, who is staring
at him curiously and waiting.
I trailed the bandits, caught up
with one and -- killed him.
Mark stares in amazement.
Put it down.
(as Mark obeys)
I then followed the horses bearing
the gold to a sawmill --
EXT. CHARLIE'S SALOON - EVENING
Mick is standing outside, holding the arm of Jerry as he
talks to the kid. Beside him stands Pete Yore's man, Ben.
You sure it was Haven you met?
Don't I know my own boss?
(giving him a shove)
Go in and get a beer.
INT. MARK'S OFFICE - EVENING
As Haven finishes his statement. He is again at the window,
glancing out. Perhaps he has seen the incident with Mick and
Jerry across the crowded street.
...After I left there, I opened the
crate. The gold was in it.
He turns back into the room. Mark is looking at him with
puzzled wonder, his face drawn and tense.
He smiles slightly. The wonder leaves Mark's face. Urbane
cunning replaces it.
What did you do about the gold?
I came to the conclusion that I
finally had enough money to need a
Mark smiles thinly, licking his lips.
(needing a drink again)
Have you seen the sheriff?
I've heard about him, and I still
came to you.
I see. Well, as a lawyer, my advice
would be --
I didn't come here for advice.
I'm wondering what you get out of
It makes me more valuable to somebody
alive than dead.
I don't know... yet.
Now I'm wondering what I get out of
They been here lookin' for you, the
I thought they might.
I told them you was out.
I was. I just came in the back way.
Haven lights the pipe.
You finish that song?
I had her finished, but what good is
it? It was about your death.
Keep it a couple of days -- may be
you can still use it.
He strolls back towards his room and CAMERA FOLLOWS him, the
strumming of the guitar again SOUNDING in the b.g.
INT. HAVEN'S ROOM - EVENING
Haven shuts the door, pulls off his boots and gun belt, lies
on the bed and stares at the ceiling. His face is sad and he
looks tired. The MUSIC from the saloon comes over, Charlie's
song... he closes his eyes and in a moment falls asleep...
EXT. MRS. CASLON'S MINE-CABIN - EVENING
As iles rides up. He is just about to enter, after
dismounting, when Mark Bristow comes out of the office. Mark
smiles and nods at the officer.
Good evening, Captain.
Any news about Haven in town?
I just saw Haven.
Mark mounts his horse, drives away.
INT. MRS. CASLON'S MINE CABIN - EVENING
As Iles opens the door and enters. Mrs. Caslon is her usual
cool self as she sits at her desk. Iles crosses to her and
gives her a peck on the cheek as she fondly pats his hand.
Good evening, Mary.
Good evening, George.
I just passed Bristow.
Why don't you sit down. You look
He sits in a comfortable chair, conscious of the fact that
she had ignored his reference to Bristow.
I suppose you've heard the news. The
holdup and poor Jim Goddard.
I heard it -- last, as usual.
Why don't you smoke?
Iles gives her a surly look, takes a cheroot out of his tunic.
(taking a match and
crossing to light
I'm afraid you're going to be angry
The gold Haven tried to run was from
the Argus, darling
Iles is about to yell something at her, then holds himself
in check, while she wipes the spilled ashes from his uniform.
In this interlude he changes to an icy man.
Now don't excite yourself.
I am very calm, and I calmly ask you
how you could allow that scoundrel
to transport gold from your mine
The man you call a scoundrel may be
dead at this moment.
And he may be in town at this moment --
where, in fact, he is.
(looks at her)
How you could do this without telling
I only did it for your sake.
After all, Mr. Haven represents the
Who do you think I represent?
I told you, George, I was only trying
to help you.
(containing his fury)
And while we're on the subject, who
does Mark Bristow represent?
You know perfectly well that he's my
I know perfectly well he's a scoundrel
Is he also trying to help me?
He walks to the door. She stands there frigidly.
(at the door, a ball
of cold fire)
Thank you, Mary.
He turns and fumbles with the knob, but he can't do it. He
turns at last and walks meekly back to her.
I'm sorry. I'd say that I lost my
head if I believed that I had one.
(kissing him fondly)
It's my fault George.
Mark left me something.
She turns to the desk and hands him the long legal envelope.
Iles takes it and stares at it. He starts to open it.
You're not going to open it?
To whom it may concern. That's what
it says here.
Well, it may concern me.
He opens it, looks.
He hands it to her. She reads.
My business isn't jammed up enough --
so they send this harebrained demoted
lieutenant pry around in it... They
want to help me too.
He takes back the paper from her, thrusts a blank sheet in
the envelope, tosses the envelope back on the desk.
George -- you're getting to be a
hard man to deal with.
I'm getting to deal with some hard
Iron-faced, he starts out, remembers again, softens against
his will, comes back from the door and kisses her cheek and
then leaves. CAMERA stays on Mrs. Caslon as she watches him
go. She smiles slightly, puts the envelope in the safe, and
then from it takes a six-gun, looks at it and begins dusting
it with her handkerchief as we
You certainly are a careful man.
I have to be. I live a careless life.
Haven begins washing his face in the washbowl, and then
combing his hair and readjusting his somewhat rumpled shirt.
Mark watches him.
What about the deposition?
She has it. It's in her safe.
What do we do now?
We call on Charlie.
There is a little nervous sweat on Mark's hands; he wipes
them on his coat.
It's a dangerous play, Haven.
What if she doesn't believe you?
Then she'll have to believe you.
That deposition could be a lie. It
might not stand up in a court.
You're sure of that?
Well -- not exactly.
That's it. You're a lawyer and you're
not sure. Then how can she gamble on
Because she's a gambler.
No, she isn't.
(ready to go)
We're the gamblers, Mark. Lot's go.
A little shaken and uncertain, Mark obeys.
EXT. HOTEL - EVENING
As Haven and Mark come out. They walk towards the saloon.
People look at them curiously. Suddenly, down the street,
the sheriff appears, approaching Haven slowly and ominously.
Sensing a gun fight, people vanish. Purely from instinct,
Mark deserts Haven's side in a hurried walk towards the
saloon, eyeing both. Haven comes on leisurely. The sheriff
has stopped in his tracks and has his gun out. A woman
clutches her child to her skirt. Men stand stockstill,
watching. A crowd forms at the entrance to Charlie's. Haven
walks slowly forward until he reaches the waiting sheriff.
He looks him over with a smile of contempt.
You're under arrest!
For the murder of James Goddard --
and robbery under arms!
I've heard about you. You don't appear
to understand the functions of your
(taking sheriff's gun
and breaking it open)
You've missed the whole point of
Even your gun isn't loaded.
(Haven loads it as it
I suggest that you start all over
again, with this point in mind: the
duty of a peace officer is to arrest
the culprit of a crime -- not the
Haven hands him back the now loaded gun and walks away towards
the saloon, leaving the sheriff standing there, a completely
dumbfounded and bepuzzled man.
INT. CHARLIE'S SALOON - NIGHT
The place is roaring. Haven enters, followed by Mark. The
guy at the piano is playing as always. Haven and Mark go
slowly to the bar, eyes following them. The noise softens
almost to silence, except the piano, Cowering, Mark sticks
close to Haven.
At the dice table, Prince stares coldly, hands another man
the stick and walks away to the stairway, his eyes seeking
Mick Marion who is also staring at Haven. Prince nods to
Mick as he goes.
MED. SHOT at bar -- as Haven and Mark loan against it. Ernie
is looking at him curiously; then towards Mick. Haven doesn't
follow the glance, but Mark does.
Ernie gets them. Haven glances at the piano. Mick who had
stood there has now vanished. Haven smiles. The drinks arrive.
(gulping his drink)
This is no good.
The bourbon is just as bad.
I don't mean that.
You want to leave?
I just don't like it.
(taking another drink)
I'm a nervous man. Something's going
to happen. I can feel it.
Then why don't we do something.
We're doing something.
Waiting for something to happen.
(smiling at Mark)
Mark finishes off his second. A stickman comes up. Nudges
Charlie wants to see you. Upstairs.
The stickman moves away. Mark looks at Haven.
Do I go with you?
Can you make it?
Haven turns away towards the stairs. Mark hesitates, bites
his lip, swallows another drink and then grimly follows.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Charlie is behind her desk, as Haven walks in. Behind him,
sweating now, comes Mark. As the two are in the room the
door behind them slams shut. Mick is there with a gun. Prince
moves slightly out of a shadow. Mark backs against a wall.
Charlie looks up from her fingernails. Haven smiles and
glances around. His eyes fix on Mick and the gun.
I see you found the difference.
Mick says nothing, his face a blank hatred. Haven sits down
in a big chair.
Looks like a board meeting.
Another door opens and Pete, the sawmill foreman, enters,
stands silently. Haven glances at him, then at Charlie who
smiles thinly back.
What's he doing with you?
I thought I might need a lawyer.
I doubt it.
I can realize how seldom legal
technicalities annoy you -- but I
have one that might.
(taking out his pipe)
Besides, he knows all about it.
About a gear box I failed to deliver.
I don't know anything! I merely --
Mark relapses into a perspiring silence.
Mark is right. He doesn't know
anything. He just knows what I
dictated to him in a deposition.
And what was that?
It was just a story. About a man who
got murdered, a thief who got shot,
and a gear box that got lost. Probably
nobody would believe it --
...unless I got killed for it.
Charlie stares at him a moment. Then she glances at Pete.
Go downstairs, Pete. Watch the
Pete walks out.
Who else have you told?
No one. Mark I had to have. He's a
witness and a notary. He makes it
stick. He stands it up in court.
(always watching his
What keeps it from getting to a court?
He's running a bluff!
I ran one on you.
Mick burns in silence. Charlie smiles.
You brought your lawyer. Ask him if
this doesn't sound like blackmail.
He can't think very clearly in the
presence of a gun.
But it doesn't bother you?
No, it doesn't.
What you want is money.
I don't see how going to the law
will get it for you.
If you did see how, I'd never get
there, would I?
I'm afraid not.
So it boils down to this: we can
make a deal, and all be happy
Not as long as you always have
something on us.
Unless you also have something on
And how would that be?
When I deliver the gold to you.
You mean the gear box?
I can even forget I looked inside.
So I stole a gear box... I'm still a
Charlie is silent a moment. Haven lights his pipe. Charlie
looks at Mark, pale by the wall.
What does he get?
He gets even with you.
Have you lost your mind!
It was all right when he lost his
All right... I'll give him the
IOU's... when the gear box is
You don't realize how important it
is when a piece of machinery breaks
down. It could close the entire
I guess I didn't realize it.
She looks coolly at Mick and Mark.
I think that's all.
Mark glances at Haven who nods and Mark leaves in the wake
of the grimly departing Mick. Prince lingers.
You can stay.
I think she was talking to me.
Prince gets up grimly, his lips tight, the dice held hard in
his fingers. He stares at Haven.
You roll nice dice and you bet them
jamb up, but some day you'll slip.
And when you do, I'll be around to
He turns and walks out. Haven watches him go.
You know, I think he will.
Then you should be more careful.
The poorhouses are filled with careful
(knocking out his
...And so are the graveyards.
Charlie comes around and sits on the arm of his chair.
You've got a nice perfume.
(she ruffles his hair
with her hand)
I almost had to have you killed. I'd
have hated it.
So would I.
I'd have missed you... too much.
And too long.
She brushes his cheek with her lips.
(she smiles at him)
Did you ever tell a woman you loved
All of them.
How did you get away?
I was always in the doorway when I
You never said it to me.
Let's go over to the doorway.
He rises and so does she. She picks up a scarf in silence
and anger, crosses and goes out the door, Haven following
INT. STAIRWAY - NIGHT
As Haven and Charlie descend. Her face is hard.
I seem to always end up like this
with you. I take you for granted.
You like it that way. It goes with
loaded dice and crimped cards and
Isn't that your business.
It isn't my life.
As they descend, Stellman can be seen in the bar crowd,
MED. SHOT of Charlie and Haven at foot of stairs. Haven is
smiling at her, but her face is serious and her eyes hard.
You told me once you might be a
missionary on your way to China. And
that's as much as I've ever found
out about you. You're working for
me, but for all I know you could be
working for somebody else.
Haven smiles. He can see Stellman approaching.
I think I better bring you that gold.
He starts away, but Stellman halts him.
Haven looks at him. Charlie watches.
Don't tell me you're still recruiting?
Yes, we still want you. But this is
a little different.
And how's that?
Captain Iles has asked me to take
you into custody, Haven.
Haven stares at him, then looks at Charlie. A slow smile
dawns on her face.
You heard the man.
Best thing for you is to come along,
That's what I like -- the best thing
He pats Charlie's shoulder and then walks out with Stellman.
Charlie watches them go. Prince appears beside her.
Very friendly with everybody -- isn't
he? Wells Fargo detectives, and now
the Army. How far can he go?
Exactly where he's headed now -- to
She walks away towards the piano. Prince stands there,
watching Haven go.
Note: Pick up two night exteriors of the post.
INT. ILES' OFFICE - NIGHT
There is a sergeant inside facing Iles who sits behind his
desk. Stellman and Haven pause at the door.
The Quartermaster at Platte wants
three sworn statements before he'll
replace those seventy uniforms, sir.
Three sworn statements! I told him
all I know. They were in the freight
office at West Rim City. The building
burned down.. .you sure he doesn't
want me to send him the ashes too?
All right, have Stamm fix the papers.
The Sergeant exits. Iles looks calmly and with relish at
Haven and Stellman enter. Stellman closes the door and stands
near it. Haven smiles and nods at Iles, then sits down
Nice to see you alive.
You seem to have been living quite
an adventurous life.
Is that why I'm under arrest?
That's indefinite. I wanted to talk
If you consult the Army Blue Book it
might enable you to be more definite.
Curiously enough, you got me into
the habit of reading myself. You're
quite right about The Blue Book --
UNLESS that officer should get himself
about one-half as far out of line as
How far is that?
Iles picks up the deposition, extends it.
Right here in your own statement!
Haven glances at him, then at the statement, and then tosses
it on the desk and inhales.
I see you did what I expected.
You've gotten a man killed and Mrs.
Caslon's gold stolen. Is that far
Haven -- as far as I'm concerned,
this deposition is good enough for
I want these people arrested. This
is all the evidence we need.
I need more.
For what reason?
For the reason I came here... to get
the murderers of two soldiers -- not
to save somebody's gold. That's a
mistake you made. I still don't know
who killed them, but I'm going to
find out. And when the net is hauled
in, they're all going to be in it.
That's my fish -- and you can have
When are you returning Mrs. Caslon's
That's a matter between myself and
They look hard at each other in silence.
I don't particularly like you -- but
I see no reason why you should get
yourself deliberately killed.
It won't be deliberate.
What difference does it make how you
get killed? Where does it leave me?
Where does it leave me?
Understand this, Haven. You're heading
for bad trouble -- and when it comes
don't expect any help from me. Is
From the beginning.
Haven turns and walks out; the door closes behind him. Iles
slumps down into his chair. Stellman is smiling faintly at
Anything else, Sir?
Yes, three cigars, a pint of whiskey,
and a copy of that confounded Blue
As Stellman turns away.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT
As Haven saunters in. Orville is, as always, behind the desk.
Haven nods at him.
What's the good word?
For you it's not good. You're in bad
I don't know how you can know so
much and move so little.
(turning to go)
I think I'll try it myself.
Want to leave a call?
That's very nice of you.
When you're sure everybody in town
is in bed -- call me. And if anybody
asks for me -- I went to jail.
He goes and Orville strums a little jail song.
EXT. COUNTRY - DAY
Haven, driving a wagon and team of horses, is retracing the
road he took back from the sawmill looking for the place
where he dumped the bullion.
CLOSER VIEW of Haven, as he looks for the landmarks. He is
whistling softly the tune that Charlie always sings. At last
he stops, alights and makes his way down the steep slope, a
couple of gunny sacks slung across his shoulder.
Bottom of the gulley as Haven gets there and locates the
crate at rest in a clump of brush. The crate has broken from
the fall. Haven loads the buckskin bags of gold into the
gunny sack and scrambles back up the slope.
Side of slope as Haven scrambles to the top, he finds himself
looking into a six-shooter held in the unwavering hand of
Mrs. Caslon. Her eyes are hard and a grim smile plays at the
corners of her mouth.
Turn around with your hands up.
Haven turns. She takes his gun and tosses it in the wagon;
then glances inside the sack, sees the gold. She backs off a
step or two.
All right -- put it in the wagon.
Haven turns to obey. He manages a smile at her.
Is this a hold-up?
You want to put it in the wagon?
(looking at her hard
He struggles with the sack, swings it onto the wagon in which
he came. Then stands back, looking at her.
Now was there something you wanted
I trailed one of the bandits here
where they cached it. I couldn't
haul it on horseback, so I came here
with the wagon.
I know that's a lie.
Some of it's true.
But not nearly enough.
I'll try it again. I cached it here
myself. I was going to turn it over
to them. I wanted to buy a membership
in their club. This was the initiation
Fifty thousand dollars?
Well, you see, I thought it was worth
Well, you see, I don't.
She climbs to the seat of the wagon watching him warily.
Haven doesn't move.
What you're doing may get me into
If you're still in town in twenty-
four hours, I promise what I do may
get you hanged.
She grabs the rein of her own horse, flicks the reins of the
wagon team and rides away, leaving Haven on the road,
horseless and very much discountenanced. He watches grimly
as she rides away. At a distance from him she tosses his gun
beside the road.
INT. CHARLIE'S SALOON - DAY
As Haven enters. He is dusty and tired from his long walk.
The place is moderately busy.
MED. SHOT of Haven as he sits tiredly at a table where Charlie
and Prince are sitting. She smiles at him.
I thought you were in jail.
I talked my way out.
You're a very glib man. You seem to
talk your way out of everything.
Up to a certain point.
(to the waiter)
The waiter exits. Charlie looks at Haven curiously.
Are we celebrating something?
You know, the first time I talked to
you we had champagne.
(smiling at her)
I think I should have been a
missionary and gone to China after
He takes out the pipe, twirls it in his fingers. The waiter
puts down the champagne. Charlie is looking at Haven with
puzzlement and curiosity. The waiter goes...
Didn't you bring me something?
But you will?
Her face changes; hardens. She glances across at Prince.
Haven watches Prince with a smile.
No -- just like that?
It's easy to explain. It's just a
little hard to believe.
Make it as credible as you can.
(filling the pipe)
I went to get it, and it was there.
But so was somebody else.
No... she had a gun with her.
Did you have one too?
The one she had was in her hand.
There is a silence. Prince stares idly at the dice cubes in
his hand. Charlie stares straight at Haven. Haven glances at
This could be that slip you mentioned.
Prince just stares at him.
So this nice lady held you up and
took the gold, is that it?
It's like saying I got robbed at
Sunday school. It's no good, is it?
(looking at him)
No, it isn't.
I even had to walk back to town. I
think that may be one of the longest
walks I ever took.
And one of the last.
Haven takes a sip of the champagne, Charlie's whole manner
has now changed. It is cold and very quiet.
Mick might have killed you, but you
fought him with your fists. The
sheriff had a gun but you took it
away from him. Ben had a gun last
night but it didn't seem to scare
you. Now this genteol petticoat waves
a pistol and you run for your life.
He makes it sound very silly.
Or I make it sound like what it is:
Haven reaches in his pocket for a match. Prince, mistaking
the gesture, swiftly extracts a small pistol from his belt,
Haven extracts the match, with a glance of contempt at Prince;
then lights the pipe again.
My word doesn't seem very good around
You've only got one thing left that's
any good here - and that's some gold.
Is that all I've got?
Not quite. You've got some time.
You've got two hours to get it here.
There is a brief silence that punctuates this statement. It
has an air of fatal finality, marked by the idle MUSIC of
the deaf pianist. Haven puts his pipe away, carefully so
that Prince won't get any mistaken ideas.
You want me to fatten you up before
you kill me? Is that what you mean?
I said what I meant -- two hours.
Haven rises. He brushes some dust off his coat, smiles thinly
I once knew a guy who stole a dime
tip from a lunch counter and parlayed
it into fifty thousand. I might try
that -- but not in two hours.
She says nothing; her face carved out of ice. Prince smiles
thinly. Haven looks at him, shrugs. He hesitates; then pats
Charlie's frigid shoulder.
He turns and walks slowly out. The dirge of the piano follows
him. Prince fingers his pistol a little, tempted. At a look
from Charlie he puts it away. Haven goes out. Charlie suddenly
leaves the tables and goes quickly up the stairs. Prince
watches her with a slow smile, picks up Haven's gun and
EXT. STREET - DAY
As Haven leaves the saloon. He pauses, looks around, up at
the sky, then down the street. He takes out his pipe and
beginning filling it slowly with tobacco, as Mark Bristow
comes hurrying across the street.
MOVING SHOT of Haven as he walks very slowly, filling the
pipe, and Mark comes alongside and walks with him. Haven
hardly glances at him.
I've been looking for you. Where
have you been?
I took a walk in the country.
Did you get it for her?
(pausing in front of
MED. SHOT of Haven and Mark outside the hotel. Mark is afraid
and puzzled. He keeps staring at Haven's face.
But that was the deal. You agreed to --
He pauses as two men walk by.
If you're trying to pull something --
(finished with the
You want to listen?
I can't deliver it because I no longer
have it. It was taken away from me
by Mrs. Caslon. I've told Charlie,
and she's very unhappy. I have two
hours to produce the loot. You haven't
any idea where a man could raise
fifty thousand quickly, have you?
Mark's mouth pops open.
I thought not.
Haven lights the pipe. Mark stands there, mouth open; fear
draining the blood from his face. His voice is a mere whisper.
What are you going to do...?
Nothing, Mark. The boat just sailed.
What about me?
You'll have to think of something
Mark stares at him, then looks off. His face becomes grim.
He almost glares back at Haven.
I can think of something.
(patting his shoulder
with a slight smile)
Go ahead, Mark. Go ahead and do it.
Mark stares at him, then turns abruptly away. He hurries
across the street. Haven watches him as he goes off in the
direction of Mrs. Caslon. Haven smiles and walks inside the
INT. HAVEN'S ROOM - DAY
He enters, locks the door. Pulls the shade at the window,
takes off his shoes and coat and lies down on the bed. He
gazes towards the wall, thoughtfully. He gets up, goes to
the window, opens it softly; then looks out. Down the alley,
at the corner, a man is lounging; an ugly looking character,
whose eyes watch the alleyway. Haven smiles wryly, goes back
to the bed and lies down. The piano music starts next door.
INT. SALOON - DAY
Showing the deaf pianist at the piano, playing. CAMERA PICKS
UP Pete as he enters, FOLLOWS him as he walks up the stairs.
INT. UPPER HALLWAY - SALOON
As Pete knocks on Charlie's office door, then enters.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAY
As Pete enters. He looks around. Mick is sitting there and
Prince. Charlie is standing at the window. By another door
another grim character stands in silence. Charlie turns as
Got enough men at the sawmill?
All right. Go back out there and get
them into the uniforms. We'll hit
the post just before midnight.
Pete turns and walks out, shutting the door behind him. There
is silence. Charlie looks out the window again. Prince fools
with the dice. Mick stands stolidly near the door. At last
the silence is broken over the ticking of the wall clock.
I don't know what we're waiting for.
I gave him some time. He's in the
hotel. He's not doing anything. I
gave him some time. I don't care
what he does with it.
She has not turned from the window. The clock ticks. From
behind her Mick's voice comes, quiet and deadly.
And I don't care when, but I'll get
Mick is silent. Charlie smiles thinly.
EXT. STREET - NIGHT
As Mark hurries into the saloon, a desperate look on his
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAY
As Charlie turns from the window.
This should be good.
Let him in.
Mick goes to the door, opens it; just as Mark arrives a little
breathlessly at the door. Mark enters, a little surprised at
the door opening for him, glancing back as Mick quietly shuts
it. Charlie looks coldly at the lawyer who is sweating again.
Mark stands there, silent a moment, gathering himself
You want the I.O.U's?
You mean --
She has turned to the safe; now she turns with them and as
Mark reaches for them, Charlie drops them at his feet. They
scatter. He bends to pick them up. Prince smiles at him
contemptuously. Mark is picking them up one at a time when
suddenly he pauses, stands erect, and looks at them with
fear and suspicion.
Why? Did Haven --
No, he didn't.
Then I don't understand --
We don't think they're going to be
Mark stands there. The papers slip from his fingers. He knows
what Prince means. But his mouth hardens in an effort.
I didn't have anything to do with
it. All I did was write it. I'm not
in on this. I can still make them
(he puts a couple
back on the desk)
Or I can --
I can do business.
(fumbling in his pocket)
I got it somewhere. I -- Here --
take a look at this -- the deposition --
(bringing out the
The only copy.
Let's have it.
Hands it to her.
What do you want?
(as Charlie opens the
Nothing. I just want to get out of
it. I never had any part of it. This
ought to prove that!
She hands him the paper from the envelope. Marks takes it
and stares at it. It is absolutely a blank piece of paper.
He stands there, bites his lips. He looks wearily around at
them, fear making him weak, making him unable to hold the
piece of paper, so that it floats to the carpet.
It's -- it's a trick. I --
(trying to pull himself
I'll see about this! He can't do
this to me!
(moving back towards
I'll go and see about this!
Sure, you see about it.
He stops dead in his tracks as Charlie moves towards him
with a little pistol, pearl-handled. But she only gives it
to him. She has to take his hand and put it in his palm.
Take this along.
He backs out, the little gun in his hand. Mick opens the
door. In sudden relief and haste Mark barrels out. They can
hear his quick feet on the stairs outside. Prince looks at
Something left to wait for?
Prince gets up and leaves, and Mick, with a grim smile of
anticipation follows. Charlie sits slowly down in the chair.
The music comes up the stairs and through the door.
INT. HAVEN'S BEDROOM - DAY
Haven is lying on the bed, his arms under his head, his eyes
on the ceiling. There is a SOUND in the hallway and then a
hurried knock at the door. Haven slowly rises, walks to the
door. He stands there. The knock SOUNDS again.
Who is it?
It's me -- Bristow -- let me in.
Haven opens the door. Mark enters swiftly, the little gun in
his hand. Haven shuts the door and locks it. He turns and
faces Mark, now pointing the gun. Without a word Haven walks
over to the bed and lies down again, looking at the ceiling.
Mark follows him with the gun.
You going to shoot me, Mark?
You double crossed me, Haven.
I got the deposition back. I took it
Haven leans on one elbow, looking at him.
It wasn't there! It was a piece of
Haven lies back with a short laugh. Mark stares at him in
Don't you laugh at me! I ought to
They want you to, Mark.
Haven again leans on one elbow, looking at Mark and the
trembling hand that holds the gun.
And it may be your only out, if you
do. But I doubt it. You know why?
Because even if you took them my
scalp, it wouldn't buy your life.
You're in debt and you're broke and
you're scared -- and you know far
too much. There isn't any way they
use you -- alive. Can you think of
Mark sits slowly back in the chair, beaten.
They're going to do it. I know it.
They're going to kill me --
(his hand trembles)
Why do they have to kill me?
Haven gets up slowly, reaches over and takes the little gun,
smiles at it.
This must be hers.
He puts the gun on the table. Mark's teeth are chattering.
He is almost ready to cry. Haven gets a bottle and pours him
a drink in a dusty glass. He hands it to Mark.
There's one thing, Mark.
(gulping the drink)
You might get out of town.
There isn't a chance in a thousand.
If there's one in a million, it's
the only one you have.
Mark gets up waveringly. Takes another hooker.
Yes -- we might get away with it. We
I'm not going.
Mark stares at him. Haven smiles grimly back.
I have to stay.
But you can't stay. You said yourself --
If you must do this, go straight to
your horse. Don't stop for anything.
-- I've got a lot of important papers --
You haven't got anything important
left, Mark -- except your life, and
very little time to keep it. You do
it very fast and you might be lucky.
(trying to pull himself
Yes. I might be. I'll try it.
Mark hurries out into the hall. Goes. Haven turns back and
looks at the room, picks up the little pistol, smiles at it.
Shrugs and then slips into his coat and exits, too.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY
As Haven enters. SHOOTING FROM his ANGLE, we can see, as he
does, Mark crossing the street, apparently towards his law
office. He is in such a hurry that he falls down, crawls a
little, gets up, runs. Just as he reaches the office door,
just as his hand touches the knob, a shot rings out and he
crumples. He still tries, then his hand slips from the knob
and he lies there dead. The vacant street is empty with his
death. Haven stares. He takes a match from the counter,
applies it to his pipe -- then finding the pipe empty, smiles
thinly and pockets it
(softly; turning to
You didn't throw away that verse?
You won't have to change it much.
He takes the little pistol from his pocket and glances at
it. The clerk, watching, idly strumming the guitar string.
You ain't going out there with that?
Not much, is it?
You'll never get closer to having
No -- I won't.
I'm naturally sentimental, bein' a
sort of poet.
I keep a bunch of gimeracks -- an
oldtime sheriff's gun, a bullet from
a dead bandit, a rosary from some
guy they hanged.
That's nice. A hobby?
In a way -- Want to leave me
Haven smiles. He feels in his pocket, comes out with the
army button gotten at the sawmill.
This is all I seem to have.
Where's the uniform that goes with
What do you want for --
(he pauses as the
idea hits him)
Yeh? A very good question.
The clerk stares at him; Haven smiles grimly. He breaks the
little gun, checks it.
I might even know. I think I'll try
to go and find out.
He starts to the door, the little gun in hand; very slowly.
Watching him, the clerk twangs the strings softly. Haven
walks very slowly. He opens the door and hesitates. Just as
he is about to step out, looking up and down the street,
there is a furor and the sheriff rides up outside and
dismounts. Starts over to inspect Mark's body. He turns as
Haven walks on to the street, hands held high.
EXT. STREET - DAY
As Haven emerges and the Sheriff holds a gun on him.
ANGLE on Mick as down the street, with disgust, he lowers
ANGLE on Prince as from a doorway he watches. Stopping with
a shake of his head the intent of a man beside him to shoot.
FULL SHOT -- street -- as Haven surrenders to the sheriff.
All right, you -- march.
Haven obeys, walking up the street -- the sheriff and the
sheriff's horse behind him. People watch, appearing now in
safety. The sheriff is pretty pleased.
MOVING SHOT -- of Haven and Sheriff. As they go, Haven's
hands still aloft.
You loaded your gun for this?
No -- you did.
Back of them can now be seen the figures of Mick and Prince
and the other gunman, following at a little distance. Going
leisurely, now Haven slows his pace so that the sheriff is
closer behind him.
Come on, you! Keep moving!
Haven suddenly drops to his knees. The sheriff almost walks
over him. The sheriff stumbles with an oath. Haven grapples
with him. Haven snatches his gun, drags him by a headlock to
the horse, flings him aside and then mounts. A second later
he is away. Shots RING OUT as Mick and Prince and the gunman
shoot. Haven rides on, bent low, out of town. The sheriff
hides his bulk in the dust as the bullets fly.
ANGLE from Charlie's office -- as she goes to the window,
stares out at the flying form of Haven. A slow smile comes
over her face, bitter and grim, yet somehow faintly
admiring... She sees Mick mount a horse and start after Haven.
Then she turns abruptly away.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
As Haven slows down his horse, but goes on at a fair clip
after looking warily back. He breaks open the sheriff's gun,
finds it loaded. He reacts and whistles softly. As he swings
his horse off the travelled road to head crosscountry for
EXT. NEAR SAWMILL - NIGHT
As Haven sits on his horse at a point in the woods where he
can look down on the sawmill. Around the mill office there
seems to be signs of unusual activity. Haven sees Mick Marion
going by on the road towards the mill. Mick passes not far
away and is riding hard. Haven watches as Mick arrives and
Pete can be seen in conference with him. Other men -- too
many -- are gathered around. At last Haven dismounts and
makes his way carefully on foot towards the warehouse.
EXT. WOODS IN BACK OF WAREHOUSE
As Haven leaves his horse in the brush and trees and then
approaches the building. He finds a window in back, breaks
it with a stone; then waits tensely to see if the sound has
attracted any attention, gun in hand now. It doesn't. Haven
replaces the gun in his holster, opens the window and crawls
INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
Haven surveys the piles of crates, boxes and equipment. He
starts his search methodically and swiftly. Suddenly a shaft
of light comes from the front doors opened now by two men.
Haven shrinks back, drawing his gun. The men start to enter
when Pete's voice is heard.
Where you guys goin'?
You want them uniforms out, don't
I'll tell you when.
The men turn and leave. Haven relaxes. He goes back to work,
pulls back a big canvas tarpaulin one of the men had
approached, and there before him is revealed the army
uniforms, stacked in neat piles. He looks and smiles grimly.
Outside is the SOUND of horses and more men arriving. Haven
goes slowly around the warehouse now, looking for something.
At last he finds it: a can of kerosene. He takes it over to
the uniforms, pours it liberally on them. At just this moment
a figure appears at the door.
What you think you're doin'?
Haven lights a match and tosses it on the soaked bales of
uniforms. They blaze up instantly. The man shoots as Haven
EXT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
As the shot RINGS out. Pete and Mick, surrounded by many
men, turn swiftly. Flame and smoke emerge from the warehouse.
They start swiftly across, drawing guns. The man at the door
shoots again into the smoking interior. An answering SHOT
from Haven fells him.
INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
As Haven makes his way back to the open window. He crawls
out swiftly. Now the building is in flames. He can hear
shouting and, as he moves away, the useless attempt of men
to put out the blaze, working with buckets of water.
EXT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
As Haven starts for the woods. The flames now light the ground
around, and Pete appears around the side of the building.
Pete fires and Haven draws and shoots. Pete whirls away, hit
but still on his feet, driving forward, trying to shoot again
and this time Haven drills him clean and Pete goes down to
stay. Other men come up as Haven makes for the woods,
Mick Marion and a dozen men appear, shooting. Mick suddenly
changes his mind, turns past the body of Pete, gets his horse
and heads back to town full tilt.
INT. WOODS - NIGHT
As Haven watches the flaming building. The slowly approaching
figures of the men are illumined in the big light of the
fire. Haven smiles, turns to the horse and moves slowly
through the trees to a place where he can mount; then mounts
and rides for it, SHOTS following him as he breaks into the
clear some hundred yards away and heads for the road that
Mick Marion took back to town. Bent low, Haven rides for his
life -- and makes it...
EXT. ARMY POST - DAWN
As Haven rides up, a detachment of men supervised by Stellman
is forming beside mounts in the parade ground. Haven dismounts
and starts inside. He glances at his wagon parked outside.
It is the one Mrs. Caslon took from him. He smiles slightly
as he notes it.
INT. ARMY POST - ILES' OFFICES - DAWN
Haven walks in, brushes past the desk sergeant with a cursory
nod and enters Iles' sanctum.
INT. ILES' OFFICE - DAWN
As Haven enters. Mrs. Caslon is there, and Iles, in full
field uniform. They look at him quickly as he enters; he
pauses, glances at Mrs. Caslon and then faces the explosive
That's all right. Just barge right
in! I'm going to tell you something...
No, you're not. You're going to
As Iles stares, dumbfounded, at this impertinence:
You lost some uniforms? You thought
they were burned?
No, they weren't, but they are now
because I just set fire to them.
They're smouldering right now in the
warehouse at the sawmill, and there
are about seventy men down there who
were ready to wear them.
Wear them? What for?
What other reason? To get in the
post and take the gold from you.
Iles gawks at him.
You were taking a detachment up north
on an Indian scare?
Iles nods vaguely.
Well, that scare is a fake. A ruse.
So you know where to send them now.
Look here, Lieutenant --
Haven dips into a lining pocket under his arm and tosses a
paper at Iles. Iles glances at it, then looks, thunderstruck,
You better get down to that sawmill,
Captain. They may try it anyway.
ILES' expression slowly changes. He smiles at last.
I guess I owe you an apology.
(extending his hand)
I'll take it.
He shakes hands with Iles for second, then Iles goes out
abruptly. Outside we can hear abrupt commands to the Sergeant
before the door closes. Haven takes out his pipe, looks at
the silent, dumb-struck Mrs Caslon. He smiles at her slightly.
She gets her voice at last.
I guess I owe you something too.
Only fifty thousand.
Outside "To Horse" is sounding. Haven glances out the window,
hardly aware of Mrs Caslon's presence.
I wish there was something I could
say or do.
There is. You can give me back my
She goes to the desk, gets it and hands it to him. He takes
the gun from his holster and hands it to her.
And you can give this one back to
She takes it.
I'll always remember what a fool I
made of myself.
I always try to forget.
He puts his own gun in holster. Glances out the window.
(watching his face)
Are you going too?
Not with them...
He pats her shoulder in a gesture of goodbye and walks out
the door. She stands watching him, then moves to the window
and looks out.
EXT. POST - DAWN
As Haven walks outside towards his waiting horse. He pauses,
pipe in mouth, lighting the pipe now, his face intensely
interested as he watches the men form on the parade ground
in front of the mounted Iles and Stellman.
FULL SHOT of soldiers. As they mount to a brisk command, and
the color bearer takes position. Iles barks out a command;
the column forms into marching order. On the double quick,
the cavalry company starts out and on the way.
CLOSE SHOT of Haven as he watches; his eyes lighting a little,
the pipe in hand. We feel that he'd like to go too in this
ANOTHER ANGLE from Haven's view, as the column of cavalry
departs. Haven waves his hand, a half salute, a half gesture
to Iles as Iles salutes him in passing. Then only the dust
remains and Haven's gaze lingers. His face changes. It becomes
grim. He slowly knocks the ashes from the pipe, pockets it.
He slowly mounts the horse. He takes out his gun and checks
it. Then slowly he rides away, like a man on a mission he
dislikes but cannot evade.
INT. ILES OFFICE - DAWN
As Mrs. Caslon looks out the window. Her face, tense, as she
watches the lonely figure go; her hand waves slightly.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAWN
Charlie is standing by the desk and window. Prince is sitting
there, talking, the inevitable dice in his fingers.
There's seventy men ready for any
kind of play. I say we can still
swing it -- and get out of town.
THERE is SOUND of massed horses outside and Charlie looks
out. Prince walks to the window. They look in silence.
EXT. STREET - DAWN
As Iles rides by at full gallop, followed by a troop of
cavalry, headed for the sawmill.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAWN
As they watch. Prince turns away.
You wanted to give Haven time. Well,
he took it.
You better get out before he takes
By that I presume you intend to
I've been here as long as I remember.
Prince crosses to the window and stands looking at Charlie.
I asked you once if Haven moved me
I think he's moved us both out --
Charlie looks at him but does not answer and then she turns
to the window, and smiles slightly. Prince follows her gaze
to the street. His face is grim.
EXT. STREET - DAWN
Haven, mounted, is coming up the street. Slowly and carefully
he progresses to the front of the saloon.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAWN
As Charlie glances at Prince.
This is the way I wanted it... and
when I've finished you will too...
as though Haven had never been here.
He turns and goes quietly and swiftly from the room. Charlie
stands thoughtfully. There is nothing in her look or manner
to indicate that what Prince has said has made the slightest
impression on her.
EXT. STREET - DAWN
As Haven comes up to the saloon door.
INT. SALOON DAWN
As Prince moves into a shadowy corner.
ANGLE ON the door as Haven enters and looks around. He sees
no one. The place seems utterly deserted. It is soundless.
CAMERA FOLLOWS Haven as he moves slowly. He has replaced the
gun, but he is alert.
ANGLE ON Prince as he watches Haven, now a perfect target,
not looking in his direction. Prince raises the gun a little,
but the dice in his over hand click ever so faintly.
SHOT OF Haven as he stops dead in his tracks, hand on the
gun again, alert at the slight sound of the dice. Now facing
towards the shadow where Prince is hidden. He stands ready
and rigid for a long still moment. When there is no further
sound or movement, he goes on towards the stairs.
ANGLE ON Prince as he moves slightly from the shadow as Haven
goes to the stairs. Prince is ready to shoot again, but now
the angle on Haven up the stairs is no good. He lowers the
gun with disgust, then moves softly out of the shadow.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAWN
She gets a gun out of the drawer, looks at it, smiles, drops
it back into the drawer, moves around the desk and faces the
door, composing herself and waiting.
EXT. CHARLIE'S DOOR
As Haven pauses, pushes it open. Then walks slowly in.
INT. CHARLIE'S OFFICE - DAWN
She is standing with her back to the desk, her fingers tight
on the edge of the desk as Haven walks in. He stops and looks
around and then at her. There is a slight smile on her face.
You cause me an awful lot of trouble.
Yeh... but I finally brought you
He hands her the little derringer she had given to Mark.
You didn't really think Mark would
use it, did you?
Maybe I just wanted to send you a
Isn't it a little late to make any
It's pretty late.
I have to arrest you.
I could have killed you from the
window -- but I didn't. And I didn't
kill the two men -- or Goodard.
Maybe Mick -- maybe Prince -- who
She puts the little gun on the desk.
You'd almost as soon be killed as
arrest me, wouldn't you?
Which are you -- Wells Fargo or Army?
He hands her the paper he showed Iles. She just glances at
it without touching it. Smiles at him.
I guess it's my turn to wish you'd
gone to China.
I wish I had too.
If you still have that gold, and I
think you do, we might make it yet.
You see I believe that every man has
Some men don't believe that.
But every woman knows it.
Her eyes pass him towards the door behind him.
Only there wouldn't be any women on
(taking out his pipe)
And that's why you're not as bad off
as you might think... I could find
twelve men who might think you capable
of almost anything -- but I wouldn't
bet they'd vote that way after staring
at you through a trial.
(he notes her eyes go
Mick is dead for the murders and
Prince can be hung for the rest of
At the bare rustle of SOUND behind him (and the memory of
her eyes going past him) Haven whirls, stopping aside and
drawing as he does so. And just as he does so, Prince, in
the doorway, fires. Haven shoots so that the shots RING OUT
almost simultaneously. Prince topples forward on his knees
and then his face. The dice roll out of his unclenched left
MED. SHOT of Haven and Charlie as their eyes read the dice.
Haven puts away the gun. Charlie is still leaning against
the desk, but there is a strange look on her face. A thin
smile for Haven. Now she sags a little and Haven realizes
she has been hit. He starts to her and she turns away towards
the couch. He catches her as she sags again, and helps her
down gently on the couch.
ANGLE on couch as Haven kneels beside her. He starts to pull
away the top of her dress, but the wound is close to the
heart. She shakes her head.
It's no good...
Haven knows it. He takes her hand and squeezes it.
I'll get someone --
Haven stares grimly at her face. She gives him a faint smile.
Tell me something...
This gets us all. This doesn't count.
Tell me something -- on the square.
She holds herself tight a moment; then looks at him again,
the faint smile returning.
Did you ever -- love me?
All the time.
From the first night and the first
time of the song. I tried to get
away from it, but every time it came
back. Every time I tried to get it
out of my brain I just pushed it
deeper into my heart. It had to be
either you or me.
It's all right. I love you...
(as he looks hard at
Well -- say it.
I love you.
She starts to die. He takes her shoulders in his hands as
though to kiss her or hold her back to life. Her voice is
almost a whisper.
See you... in China.
She goes, slumping back. He sits there, pats her shoulder in
a familiar absent-minded way, then slowly rises. Grimly,
Haven walks out of the room.
MOVING SHOT as Haven goes down the stairway. The deaf pianist
is playing as always.
Orville is at his old seat behind the desk. He is playing
the last verse of the ballad. Haven enters and crosses to
his bag, his face blank and grim. He picks up his bag, turns
and walks out, as though not hearing the guitar and the
ballad. As he goes into the street --
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